e3 2015

Sony Is Helping To Fund Shenmue III

by Mike Futter on Jun 17, 2015 at 12:28 PM

We had the chance to speak with Sony president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida today about a number of topics. On our list was the surprising Kickstarter announcement for Yu Suzuki's Shenmue III.

There have been a number of questions about the budget (the target of $2 million has been well exceeded) and whether those funds will be enough to bring the game to market. Sony tells us it is helping to fund the game now that the goal has been met.

"As Adam [Boyes] said on stage, it's Yu Suzuki-san's company's project," Yoshida tells us. "It's not even Sega's project. Sega owns the IP, but Suzuki-san's company has struck a deal with Sega to continue Shenmue development. His company is very small. It's an indie house. Adam's team has been supporting indies in many ways - promotions, supporting financially. In the same way has funding to make a game, there's one way to support it. For the indie that's just starting, doing a Kickstarter, Adam's team helps support it once its funded."

We asked specifically if Sony would be helping to finance the game. "Yes, provided that the Kickstarter is successful, and it has met its goal," Yoshida says. This wasn't specified on stage, as Sony's Adam Boyes made it clear that Shenmue III was not Sony's project, and was solely the work of Suzuki's company.

This explains the exclusivity and Sony's willingness to put the game on stage. This isn't the first time that investors have waited to see if there was community support before joining the project. Most recently, Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained campaign had unspecified outside investors that were waiting in the wings to see how crowdfunding panned out.