Shenmue III smashes Kickstarter goal in less than 12 hours

Fans throw money at long-awaited sequel, raising the full $2m within the first day
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The long-awaited Shenmue III has, unsurprisingly, obliterated its Kickstarter target in what looks like record time.

The game was announced last night during Sony's E3 press conference, with creator Yu Suzuki making the shock decision to fund the game via Kickstarter.

Developed in Unreal Engine for PS4 and PC, this will be the first entry in the series since 2001's Shenmue II for Dreamcast and the original Xbox.

Suzuki asked for a total of $2m, with fans clamouring to donate to the project throughout the night. In fact, shortly after the announcement was made, many people suffered connection problems to Kickstarter.

Shenmue III quickly became the fastest game project to reach $1m. Sadly, it's unable to snatch the all-time fastest Kickstarter record from Pebble Time, which raised $4m in just three hours.

It also has some way to go to unseat card game Exploding Kittens. The title raised ove $9m, making it the most backed game Kickstarter of all time, and achieved its original goal of $10,000 in just 20 minutes.

With 31 days to go, the attention now turns to the project's stretch goals, which include cinema shorts summarising the first two games, additional language support, new mechanics such as a skill tree, and the addition of mini-games.

The ultimate goal is $4m and it's not unlikely that the crowdfunding campaign will meet this target.

“Shenmue 3 is the true sequel to the classic open world action RPG games, Shenmue and Shenmue 2. Created for modern platforms (PC and PlayStation 4) and built in Unreal 4, Shenmue 3 will continue the legacy of Shenmue,” Suzuki said.

“If Shenmue 3 was going to get made, I wanted to make it with the fans. Through Kickstarter, I knew that could happen. Together, with Shenmue fans everywhere, I knew we could build the game that the series deserves.

“If we do not reach our funding goal, Shenmue 3 will not go forward. We are balancing our ambitions for a grand sequel with the pragmatic realities of developing a game of this scale. It will not be easy, but I have dreamed of making this sequel for 14 years – it is time to bring Shenmue back!

“The real challenge now is to deliver a sequel that we will all be satisfied with after 14 years of waiting. After much research and planning, we set the funding goal at this level believing it will make possible a fulfilling Shenmue experience.

“We will do our absolute best to deliver Shenmue 3 and the rewards by their respective deadlines. However, there is always the possibility that problems may arise which could affect reward delivery. There may end up being changes in game or reward designs. We may press right when we are supposed to press left and get hilariously head butted and kneed in the groin.

“In these situations, the whole Shenmue 3 team promises to keep you updated and informed on the game development and reward delivery progress. We are all very excited, ambitious, and optimistic that we have prepared well, and are ready for the challenges that are ahead of us.”

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