Shenmue 3 doesn't need $10 million after all, creator Yu Suzuki has said as part of a statement on the project's funding situation.
Shenmue 3 is being partially funded by Kickstarter, but also by Sony and at least one other investor. Controversially, this information was not shared until after the Kickstarter had gone live and smashed its $2 million target.
The revelation that crowdfunding might not be as central to the project as backers had believed was a bit of a shock - especially as Suzuki then went on to ask for $10 million, and continued to dodge questions about the funding situation.
The veteran developer has now addressed these concerns. Apologising for being late in providing a statement directly to backers of the project, Suzuki has promised to be as open as possible moving forward.
"After learning of Kickstarter, I knew it would be possible to get Shenmue 3 started. Wanting to make the best game possible, I also knew that I would have to look to more traditional means to obtain all the funds that would be needed to create the game I had envisioned," he wrote in a Kickstarter update.
Suzuki said Sony and Shibuya Productions "have helped to realize a sequel that will stand proud with its predecessors".
"While it is not business practice to discuss the specific details of such arrangements, I can say that with their assistance on the production and marketing end, and in Sony’s case with some publishing support as well, Ys Net is able to use more of the money we collect through Kickstarter purely for Shenmue 3’s development," he said.
"It is also important to note that your funds are going strictly to Ys Net for development of Shenmue 3 – Sony and Shibuya Productions are not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars."
While Suzuki's full statement does not offer any new information regarding the project's funding, he did clear up his earlier comments suggesting he needs $10 million from Kickstarter to build the "true" Shenmue 3.
"The Stretch Goals that I have laid out will add extra quests, events, and new gameplay systems that will make the game even more immersive and take the series to the next level," he said.
"At the $5 million mark, there will be an all new gameplay feature I would be excited to be able to add to the Shenmue legacy. If we should make the $10 million Stretch Goal, a much larger, completely open world will be yours to explore."
"Even if these Stretch Goals are not reached, Shenmue 3 will already be a sequel true to its name, and one we can all be proud of."
Suzuki said he hopes to hit the most distant stretch goals in order to make Shenmue 3 "just as revolutionary as the first two were".
We still don't really know just how much Sony and Shibuya are contributing to Shenmue 3, which is likely to have a budget far, far beyond the $10 million stretch goal even before marketing. But it's really good to know fans aren't required to up their pledges or end up with a substandard game.