Shenmue 3 just reached a milestone: It is the highest Kickstarter-backed video game of all time. And the game that fans have long clamored for will finally be releasing with tons of new content as not only did it went past its targeted $2-million target, it even became the most funded video game on Kickstarter with $6.3 million under its belt.
Shenmue 3 earned $69,320 in pledges, beating previous record-holder Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the spiritual successor to Castlevania, which raised over $5.5 million. Shenmue was also backed by a total of 69,320 people.
Even though Shenmue wasn?t a popular game, it has a large cult following and bolstered the Kickstarter and even created interest to those unfamiliar with the franchise.
Shenmue was ahead of its time as it pioneered Quick Time Events (QTEs) and a fully explorable and detailed 3D world. If you?re thinking that QTEs are horrible, then you haven?t played Shemue as the game merely used QTEs to make its 3D action fighting gameplay and navigating the world feel seamless. Shemue is completely different to games today that add QTE as a feature to make watching long cutscenes bearable or as a button press that activates cool moves. Shemue was also the first to introduce open world gameplay before it was mainstreamed by the likes of Grand Theft Auto.
Shenmue 3 was able to make their project successful with aggressive promotion. Shenmue 3?s appearance at the E3 2015 Sony Press Conference bolstered the game to receive its goal funding of $2 million in less than a day. Thereafter, the team released a developer documentary and even answered everyone?s questions about the game on Twitch.
They also offered numerous perks to those who wanted to pledge more money. The standard pledge priced at $29 only nets you a digital version of the full game. Others included a Ryo Jacket, a character animated and named after the person who pledges, a personal message from Ryo?s voice actor, and more perks steadily kept the funds rising.
In the middle of the Kickstarter project, something slowed down the Kickstarter project. Word got around that Sony would help fund Shenmue 3, causing controversy on social media that the Kickstarter project was only a test to gauge interest and it would help Sony lessen its funds to develop Shenmue 3. Shenmue 3 Creator Yu Suzuki refuted claims and said Sony wouldn?t earn a cent from the game as Sony would only be providing money for the production, publishing and marketing end.
Thereafter, the Shenmue team announced a physical disc release for both the PC and PS4 versions. ?An artist from the?Last Of Us team made and?sold?a print art of Shenmue for the Kickstarter project. A new trailer was upped three days before the end of the Kickstarter project, all of which which helped ?boost the game to its $6 million record.
The Kickstarter project was able to achieve the $5 million stretch goal which now helps bring an all new gameplay system called the ?character perspective system?. The Kickstarter however wasn?t able to reach $10 million that would have enabled Shenmue 3 to become a true open world game
Shenmue 3 is expected to release for both the PS4 and PC in 2017.