If you’ve been keeping up with gaming sites over the past week then you’d have seen that articles kept cropping up discussing Shenmue 3 and the involvement of Sony in regards to the game. Much speculation appeared to suggest that Sony were funding the majority of the release, or they weren’t actually funding it at all, and a whole mix of confusion in between. None of this particularly helped the campaign, but to be fair, Yu Suzuki and Ys Net should have been transparent from the get go. Information related to external funding is something folks simply want to know!
In a recent Kickstarter update, Suzuki commented:
“Sony and Shibuya Productions have been wonderful partners because they believe in Shenmue and want to see the best for the fans and the game. Their investment in (and support of) Shenmue have helped to realize a sequel that will stand proud with its predecessors… 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.“
So yes, there is external investment in this project to a variety of degrees, with Sony doing the heavy lifting with publishing. With that said, we already knew there was external funding from the very beginning. In the campaign FAQ was the following tidbit of info: “No, we cannot make an open world game for $2 million. Shenmue will be produced using both the funds raised from the Kickstarter and through other funding sources already secured by Ys Net Inc.” At that time we just didn’t happen to be certain who those external partners were.
Does it matter that Sony is one of them? Not really, that much was obvious when Sony allowed Shenmue 3 to be announced during their E3 press conference (and secured at least temporary console exclusivity with the PS4 version). In any case, this clarification may quell the confusion that has been brewing. If not, well, at least the game is being made after 14 long years.