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Video Games: How Shenmue 3 Was Guaranteed to be Funded

Written by RealMsH

 SMH - Shaking my head about the "third" party funding of the Shenmue 3 kickstarter which successfully ended on July 17, 2015.  If you haven't heard, Sony is the "third" party.  Yes -- I get that Shenmue 3 was a long awaited video game, and yes, I understand  the ultimate goal is to get full funding of a video game to make sure  the video game actually comes to fruition.  What I do not get is a video game that garnered over $6 million dollars while at the same time having the financial backing of a major company like Sony.  

Call me naive, but I thought the purpose of a kickstarter was to be the primary funding vehicle to ensure there is enough money to follow through on making a video game or whatever project the funding was being asked for.  I was unaware, until I did some research, that Shenmue 3 was guaranteed to be made regardless -- mainly because of the backing of a giant software/hardware company like Sony.  It's news to me that a kickstarter can be used to subsidize the funds a company already has earmarked for the game.  Since that company is Sony, I'm sure the amount funded for Shenmue 3 is in the millions.

Shenmue 3Shenmue 3

Let's talk numbers.  The requested amount for the Shemue 3 kickstarter was $2 million.   The kickstarter's goal was reached when over $6 million was raised at its conclusion. It was indicated the game would be produced if only $2 million was raised;  however, if $10 million dollars were raised, there would be more of an "open world" for the Shenmue 3 video game. It's my understanding some gamers and backers of the kickstarter wanted to know more specifics about what the funds would be used for; however, this information was not provided. This nondisclosure did not seem to negatively impact the funds raised for Shenmue 3 during the kickstarter.  In fact, Shenmue 3 broke records by being the first video game to raise the largest amount of money within 8 1/2 hours of the kickstarter being announced.

Shenmue 3Shenmue 3

So just what was Sony's part in the funding, other than guaranteeing the game would be produced?  Well, when the Shenmue 3 video game is completed, it will be playable on its gaming system -- the PlayStation 4 as well as the PC. Sony is also the publisher of the video game.  Given its deep pockets, Sony has stated that additional funds will be provided to market the video game for its PlayStation 4 video game system.

Even though it was not specifically stated in the kickstarter that Sony is involved in the funding, the partnership of Ys Net  (developer) and Sony was mentioned during an interview with Sony's Adam Boyles.  It was also inferred the kickstarter was used as a means to guage the level or range of interest for a Shenmule 3 video game to be produced.

Shenmue 3Shenmue 3

A question that begs to be asked and answered is how much money did Sony provide to ensure Shenmue 3 was made.  For now, mum's the word since, to date, Sony has not divulged the amount.  I'm sure this amount is and will be sizeable.

My thoughts are with all of the other hardworking developers who may have dreamed of having a kickstarter, or who may have even had one; however,  were not given the extra boost of being backed and funded from a multi-billion dollar  company like Sony.  My advice to these developers is that even if a strong backing from a large  company for your video game is not forthcoming, continue making exciting games that  will be of interest to gamers on a large scale.   In other words, build a better mousetrap, I mean -- build a better video game, and the gamers will fund your project, maybe even to  level of success  experienced by the developers of the Shenmue 3 video game.

Shenmue 3 is scheduled to be released December 2017.


0 #9 RealMsH 2015-07-27 13:30
Thanks for stopping by to comment!
0 #8 Harrison 2015-07-27 06:46
Wow you continue with your misinformation whereas all official sources stated the otherwise. I give up.
0 #7 RealMsH 2015-07-27 02:04
Thanks for your comments! There is a saying "Timing is everything." Since Ys Net planned to have a kickstarter, why would SCE or for that matter, Ys Net, announce that SCE would be backing and publishing Shenmue 3 -- prior and during the kickstarter? In my opinion, it is highly unlikely people would have rushed to fund a kickstarter that already had the backing of a giant like SCE.

if the $2 million was not reached via the kickstarter and SCE saw money to be made -- the game would have been developed anyway. It is not uncommon for companies to seek other funding sources, if the stated goal is not reached by crowd-funding; however, with Sony backing Shenmue 3 --since money is clearly not an issue, this game was guaranteed to be developed regardless of whether of not $2 million was raised.

Any misinformation was on the part of both Sony and Ys Net in not being up front at the start and duration of the kickstarter that there would be a partnership between the two.
0 #6 Harrison 2015-07-26 19:24
You have big misinformations. SCE never said they will publish Shenmue 3. Even Cedric Biscay, the co-producer of the game, said YSnet is the PS4 publisher. And it's well known that below 2 million, Shenmue 3 would not exist.
0 #5 RealMsH 2015-07-26 02:46
I appreciate your comments! Regarding the Shemue 3 kickstarter pledges and rewards -- the amounts that could be pledged ranged from a low of $5 to a high of $10,000. The rewards were, of course, commensurated with the amount pledged.

For a $100 pledge, you would receive a digital copy of Shemue 3 for the PC or the PS4 or a physical copy for the PC plus a digital copy of the trial PC version plus your name in the credits. The $100 pledge reward included the $5 reward of being able to participate in surveys and vote in polls on ideas you would like to see in the game.
0 #4 RealMsH 2015-07-26 02:09
Thanks for your comments! No contradiction here. Sony Computer Entertainment is the publisher for Shemue 3. If Ys Net, the developer of Shemue 3, did not reach its $2 million goal, in all likelihood this video game would have been developed regardless, since Sony has more than enough power, in the way of money to get the Shemue 3 video game to the public. In my opinion, with Sony backing Shemue 3, the primary reason I can think of for having the kickstarter is for Sony to determine if gamers and others are really interested in and will ultimately purchase the game when it is developed by Ynet. Looks like Sony got its answer within 8 1/2 hours of the kickstarter since the $2 million goal was not only reached -- but was far exceeded -- concluding on July 17, 2015 after reaching $6,333,295.
0 #3 Aaron H 2015-07-25 13:24
I just hope the game is awesome!
0 #2 Harrison 2015-07-25 11:39
"Shenmue 3 was guaranteed to be made regardless." You're contradicting yourself: if it did not raise at least 2 million, the project was cancelled.
And at the moment, YSnet is the official PS4 publisher, not Sony.
Sony will not fund Shenmue 3 that much (the license does not belong to them) so the kickstarter was probably necessary anyway.
0 #1 Aaron H 2015-07-24 19:54
Good points Ms. H! The people who contributed to the kickstarter, did they even get anything in return? If I donated 100 bucks, do I get a copy of the game or what? Do I get mention in the credits? I have never played any of the Shenmue series but it must be great if people are willing to donate 6 million UNNECESSARY dollars to get the game made that was going to be made anyways.

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