Kickstarter is far from the only source of funding for Shenmue 3.
The original Shenmue famously cost $47m to make, which has played a big part in Sega (or indeed any other publisher) stepping forward to make a new entry in the series. That’s also the reason why, once the jubilation of the game’s announcement had passed, many started to ask exactly how creator Yu Suzuki hoped to make Shenmue 3 on a Kickstarter budget of $2m.
It turns out that he isn’t.
All I can tell you is that YS Net has been looking at other sources of funding and we’re preparing other sources of funding, so for the Shenmue 3 project it will be what we can source from outside plus the Kickstarter," Suzuki told Polygon.
"But for right now that’s all we can say. There are other sources of funding that will be put together with the Kickstarter. I can’t get into specifics, but for right now I just want to keep the comment that yes, I have funding sources outside Kickstarter that I collected through my company YS Net, and that will combine with the Kickstarter for this project."
What muddies the water a little is that it seems the extent of this undisclosed funding will dictate the form the final game actually takes.
Sony Studios boss Yoshida told Polygon in a separate piece that: "In terms of final development cost, I think Suzuki is being flexible depending on the funds available. I don’t think he’s setting this up to be this massive open world game. I think he’s waiting for Kickstarter to end and then see."
Sony, of course, is itself chipping in with the game’s production. But there are certainly a lot more fingers in this pie than initially thought.
Take Sega, for instance, who would have had to agree to hand over their IP to make the game possible in the process. Did that deal involve a cut of the profits?
My company YSnet, we officially approached Sega a while ago, asking for the approval for the licenses,” Suzuki told Kotaku, although he refused to comment on the specifics of the agreement. I was at Sega when Shenmue was made, as you may know, and they felt safe giving me the license to make the next one. They’re the reason why I was even able to make Shenmue.”
Shenmue 3 has so far raised $3,142,502 on Kickstarter, and there is still another 29 days to go.