Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter has been updated with a brief video showing off in-game footage.
“It is still a work in progress, but Yu Suzuki has sent it with loving care and hopes it will be all that the fans of the series have come to love, and will show those new to the game some of the wonder and magic they can expect from the continually unfolding world of Shenmue,” reads the blurb accompanying the update.
The scene shows a brief shot of Ryo and Shenhua as they gaze off into the distance, across a lake that’s brimming with fireflies. There’s no dialogue, and no one is getting kicked in the teeth. It’s just a nice scene that, to me, really evokes the feeling of Shenmue – the feeling that although nothing fantastical or intense is happening, there is a deeper meaning just out of your grasp. Whether it’s watching a swarm of lightning bugs or driving a forklift, Shenmue has always made the mundane seem meaningful.
The update also introduced a new reward tier, titled “CHOUBU TRAVELLER / NON-COMBAT NPC”. If you’ve got $6,000 to spare [Wait a minute, let me just reach down the back of the sofa – Ed.], you can can appear in Shenmue 3 as an NPC in Choubu inn. This reward tier also includes the $1,000 donation reward of a Ryo voice message (voiced by Corey Marshall). There are only four slots for this tier, with two already claimed – so if you’re currently carrying around a large bag of money and want to be immortalized in video game form, you’d better hurry.
Shenmue 3 was announced to much fanfare during Sony’s E3 conference last month. One of several surprises during Sony’s show, legendary developer Yu Suzuki took to the stage to announce that he was funding the game via Kickstarter. The extent of Sony’s financial involvement with the game isn’t known.
Yu Suzuki reckons it will take about $10m to make Shenmue 3 truly open-world, which is still far less than the original Shenmue games cost to develop back in the early 2000s. Presumably he is seeking – or has already signed – a deal for additional funding to realize his ambition for the game; it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be able to create a truly open-world AAA video game these days on what is a relatively modest amount of funding.
So far, Yu Suzuki has managed to raise just over $5,000,000 to develop Shenmue 3 – more than double his original target, but only half what he thinks the game needs to be open-world. There are 56 hours left to go. Will he make it?