To quote Japanese game designer and producer Yu Suzuki, creator of the Shenmue series that last saw a title update 14 years ago, "The fate of Shenmue is in your hands now." Originally he might have been talking about whether or not Shenmue 3 would be made, but having surpassed the $2 million funding goal on Kickstarter in just nine hours, the true fate of Shenmue that's yet to be decided is how many stretch goals will be added on.
Shenmue 3 now ranks as the fastest game on the crowdfunding site to reach $2 million, and the same goes for the $1 million mark. It had a bit of an advantage over other record setting projects, as it was announced on the PlayStation stage at E3 during Sony's press conference last night. Nevertheless, blasting through its multimillion dollar goal in such a short time is impressive and speaks of how popular the series remains after all these years. Hell, it even caught Kickstarter off guard.
"Site performance is back up to speed. We're still monitoring everything. We've never seen anything like this. Thanks for your patience!," Kickstarter stated in a Twitter post.
Shenmue 3 is described as the true sequel to Shenmue and Shenmue 2, which were released in 1999 and 2001, respectively. It picks up where Shenmue 2 left off -- protagonist Ryo Hazuki is in China trying to track down his father's murderer. While there, he meets a new traveling companion, Shenhua, who tells him of a legend from her village prophesying their journey together.
The long awaited follow-up will release to PC and PlayStation 4. It will contain familiar elements from its predecessors and new fight mechanics. The goal is to appeal to both newcomers to the series and diehard fans who have been clamoring for Shenmue 3 for over a decade.
Shenmue 3 is expected to release in December 2017, though if several stretch goals are reached, we could see this slipping into 2018. If you'd like to help reach those goals, go here to back the project -- $29 gets you a digital copy of the game.