Sunday, 28 June 2015

Shenmue 3: Some quick thoughts on the updated stretch goals

I think it's obvious at this point that the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign will struggle to reach $5m let alone $10m, so it's baffling to me that the stretch goals have been updated again with a new $11m target and a mysterious $???m goal with a perplexing ??? reward that is sure to have the lunatics frothing at the mouth.

People have rejected my assertion that this is a clear moving of the goalposts, claiming this was obviously Yu Suzuki's plan all along but I hope you'll concede at the very least it has been ill-conceived. In my opinion, the list of stretch goal features amounts to blackmail, ie pay up or I'll kill your dreams! I'm not scandalized or anything like that, it just is what it is. You do what you have to in order to achieve. It would have been nice if all this info had been out there from beginning and clearly represented but that ship has sailed now.

I know how desperate and insane hardcore fans are, especially when they have been made to wait over a decade for resolution. My feeling on that and I don't mean to generalize, but if you've been obsessing over a video game for fifteen years, you're probably not rich or responsible enough to be pumping the kind of cash into this project that it supposedly needs. Just think about this, how many times in the recent past has a major professional sports team been bought by a lifelong devoted fan? It's never happened. Different scale I know, but really, the kind of people who have that sort of capital have better things to do than learn all the chants or for that matter race ducks.

While a future avenue for funding upon the conclusion of the Kickstarter might be Paypal or some kind of subscription service, the best and least exploitative method might be to find a wealthy independent looking for a vanity project. Does anyone know if Mark Cuban ever owned a Dreamcast?

There is also another way that I'm less sure about. I think that in order for Shenmue IV to happen, Shenmue III has to capture the imagination of more than just longtime fans. For casuals to be emotionally invested in a "III" though, surely they'd need to have experienced I & II. So those ports, updates, what have you absolutely have to happen. Could any profit be made from them? Could any of that be diverted into development funds for III? I'm not so sure but it would certainly raise interest so let's hope that Sega see the light with regards the originals.

I tried to watch the Twitch Q&A but the volume is so low that I can't get it to work properly. I'm also pretty terrified by the werewolf sitting on the right so I'll have to figure something else out and watch it a little later but I think I will have more thoughts about that so look out for another update later in the week.

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