By Wes Smith
UPDATE 4:23 A.M. PST: The funding for Shenmue III has reached it’s $2 million goal in its first day of backing through Kickstarter.
On its first day of backing, Ys Net has reached $1.2 million of a $2M goal on Kickstarter to release a highly-anticipated sequel to the Shenmue game franchise.
The Kickstarter page, which launched June 15, has an array of backing options, from copies of the game to replica figurines similar to those purchased in the game.
Shenmue III, which will continue the story of hero Ryo Hazuki in his quest to find his father’s assassin, will be developed for PS4 and PC if it reaches its goal.
“If we do not reach our funding goal, Shenmue 3 will not go forward. I know that the goal of making Shenmue 3 with the fans, and seeing Shenmue in the hands of gamers all around the world is a lofty one,” the developers wrote on their Kickstarter page.
“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 original Shenmue, created by Yu Suzuki, debuted with the ill-fated SEGA Dreamcast but has been lauded as a classic among gamers as one of the first expansive, open-world stories available for consoles. A sequel was released, Shenmue II, for the Dreamcast and XBox, but the series was unable to continue due to the folding of SEGA’s console division and the rumored budget needed for games of its scale.
Fans have been eager for sequels to Shenmue, which left its story unfinished in the second game. Ryo has since become a well-known figure among classic gaming fans, and was recently added as DLC for the racing game Sonic All-Star Racing: Transformed.
After 14 years of waiting, the fans have reached for their wallets with $1.2M already backed after just one day. Additional stretch goals have been added up to the $4M mark, if the backing makes it that far.
No release date has been given should the game reach completion, and the developers did warn that game-making can hit snags.
“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,” wrote the devs, referencing their original QTE action system.
Still, with an already respectable following, this could mean fans will finally see the sequel they’ve been waiting for.