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Yu Suzuki’s new startup Ys Net has received $4.9 million in pledges on its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to develop Shenmue III, the third-highest amount for any video game on the crowdfunding site.
Suzuki unveiled the campaign to bring back the epic role-playing series at Sony’s press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in mid-June. The news got a roar of applause, and the campaign raised $2 million in its first 10 hours. Even at $4.9 million, the Shenmue is just behind Ouya ($8.6 million) and another Japanese game, Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night ($5.5 million) for the highest total in Kickstarter game history. Now the campaign has about 57 hours to go. To stoke demand, Suzuki released this video.
Shenmue II debuted 14 years ago, and the original came out in 1999 on the Sega Dreamcast. That long gap has created some pent-up demand for the third game, and Suzuki is taking advantage of that.
Suzuki said earlier that the project’s stretch goals include new regions in the game such as Baisha, Choubu, and Bailu Village. It’s expected to hit the PlayStation 4 and PC in December 2017.
Suzuki described the game on his site as the “true sequel to the classic open world action RPG games, Shenmue and Shenmue 2. Created for modern platforms and built in Unreal 4, Shenmue 3 will continue the legacy of Shenmue.”
“Our ambition is to deliver a Shenmue experience that will draw in newcomers to the series and reward diehard fans with its deep story and rich gameplay,” Suzuki said.
The first Shenmue was set in Japan, and the second was set in China, as Ryo Hazuki went there to search for his father’s killer. There, he meets his new travelling companion, Shenhua, and learns of a legend from her village that has foretold their path together.
“The story continues as Ryo and Shenhua start off on a new journey that will take them farther into enemy territory, deeper into mystery, and ever closer to their destiny,” Suzuki said.
In the third game, Ryo tries to track down the Chi You Men cartel and face Lan Di in a final showdown.
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