Since the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, there has been significant confusion over Sony’s role in the development of much anticipated video game Shenmue 3.
At a press conference, Sony PlayStation’s director of third party production and developer relations Gio Corsi confirmed: “PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game. It’s going be run through third-party production, but we’re going to help YsNet get the game done. We’re going to be partners on it the whole way.”
However, its creator Yu Suzuki said: “Sony and Shibuya Productions are not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars.” He maintains that Sony’s involvement is limited to “publishing support”. The $2 million fundraising target was meant to be to gauge public interest, with Suzuki admitting the amount needed to produce the game would be more like $10 million.
The lack of transparency had justifiably led to confusion: if Sony aren’t involved – why the announcement at their event? If they are backing, why the need to use Kickstarter when Sony is a multi million pound company? Suzuki has confirmed that the project is bolstering the campaign with “other funding sources already secured”, although whether this source is Sony cannot be confirmed due to contractual obligations.
Suzuki attempted to clarify the details in an update on the Kickstarter post, claiming Sony wasn’t involved and that the extra dollars raised through crowdfunding would be for “extra quests, events, and new gameplay systems.” If the crowdfunding continues on this level, at the $5 million mark he promised there would be an “all new gameplay feature,” while $10 million would secure “a much larger, completely open world” to explore.
However, Suzuki’s post still fails to answer some fundamental questions about how the game is being made and it it might be better to hold off investing until these details have been clarified.
When the project opened in the wake of the E3 announcement, the interest was so huge that users were hit by errors showing that the site was having trouble loading, and it set a Guinness World Record to become the fastest video game to raise $1 million on a crowdfunding site. In the popular game, players take control of Ryo Hazuki, a troubled 18-year-old keen to avenge the mysterious death of his father. It mixes action, role-playing, life simulation and adventure.
Backers receive a range of rewards for investing in the project — from getting to participate in surveys and polls to decide the direction of the game, for $5, all the way up to a $10,000 reward that allows backers to go to dinner with the developers.