During a livestreamed Q&A, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki provided more information on Shenmue III and its Kickstarter campaign.
- Sony is helping with various things, including marketing, promotion and partly with funding. It’s one of the most important partners for the project. They aren’t receiving any money from the kickstarter campaign.
- The money from the campaign will all be used for development, Kickstarter fees and for the budget needed for the rewards for backers.
- Yu Suzuki would like to give a PS4 physical copy and is currently considering how to do it. He asks to be patient.
- Suzuki-san is not satisfied with Ryo’s face, and he’s still trying to improve it. A screenshot of the current version has been shared (you can see it at the bottom of the post), but Suzuki-san still isn’t satisfied with the result and will improve it further.
- Suzuki-san wants to improve the representation of Ryo’s persomality also through his facial expressions and his actions.
- Suzuki-san would like Ryo’s former voice actors (Japanese and English) to return, and he’s currently negotiating with them.
- The team is looking for further funding methods, including PayPal.
- Suzuki-san would personally like to have HD remasters of Shenmue and Shenmue II, but the rights belong to Sega, so he can’t comment on them, but he will talk to Sega to see if it’s possible.
- New reward tiers are coming, including an unique replica of Ryo’s watch (for $5,000) and grab bags including Shenmue merchandise.
- With the current funds the story will progress until a duel with “four big bosses,” with further stretch goals the story will be expanded.
- The Rapport system included in the stretch goals will let you influence the attitude of Shenhua towards Ryo.
- At five million the Baisha Village area will include siege and infiltration mechanics.
- In Baisha there will be more playable characters besides Ryo (like Ren and Shenhua), the character perspective system will add more depth to the story.
- At the current funding level, Shenmue III will be more focused on the story. At Five million dollars, it will include more new features compared to the previous games of the series. At ten million there will be more choices available to the player, turning it in a more open world Shenmue III
- The game is expected for release by the end of 2017, and the team will do its best to achieve that.
- Shenmue III will not be the end of the story.
- The demo requires many systems to be completed, so it will come towards the end of development. It should come inearly 2017.
If you want to cntribute to the campaign yourself, you can do so here. At the moment of this writing, Shenmue III has gathered $3,684,266 in pledges.
Below you can see Ryo’s updated face, a diagram that shows how the Kickstarter funds will be used, and the current stretch goals.