I’m not going to lie I love Shenmue, I grew up with the dreamcast instead of a NES and have fond memories of Shenmue as it was a completely new experience at the time. Pioneered the art of storytelling in video games being the first to introduce quick time events and cut-scenes heavy with story. These are the main reasons people at the time despised Shenmue because it went against everything people knew about games at the time and considered blasphemous, of course now all the features Shenmue had that people shuddered at are now industry norms and are used widely.
So Shenmue is already an obscure IP, for years it’s been considered dead by many even the creator Yu Suzuki. It is just a very niche series that no one liked expect me and a few dreamcast owners. The series is infamous for its obscurity and cult following and it’s unfinished story.
The complaints arise when Shenmue 3 is announced to be a Sony aided kickstarter
As soon as it was announced I heard combined groans from a few people at the sight of it being a kickstarter, mainly because they see it as an unfair advantage against the small guy on kickstarter just trying to pass a thousand to make their game. I personally don’t see this as the case and after a very, very, very long thought I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the best thing that could have happened to kickstarter, there are of course many cons that coincide with so many pros but I believe this is a great thing for kickstarter as a whole.
More projects will be seen and funded
When it comes to kickstarter there seems to be a natural flow of backers every now and then. whenever a new project comes along. New backers come onto kickstarter and this in turn means they see other projects.
Kickstarter works very much like Patreon in how they promote other content creators and this has been evident within big new game projects like bloodstained and Yooka-Layle.
These are impressive stats for games that have raised well over one million. “But wah these are just people who back one project then piss off” said cynical internet user #12769. Well luckily for you my fine cess pool, David Gallagher had another handy stat on him as well.
Now if you take in account these projects were marketed without the help of a triple A company and were very much from start up indie studios, it’s pretty impressive they got that many new accounts made that ended up being active ones.
I can only imagine how many kickstarter accounts sony have made with Shenmue 3, a game that was kickstarted on stage at E3, shown and marketed to a way bigger audience compared to bloodstained and yooka laylee.
If the statistics from bloodstained and yooka laylee say anything it’s that big projects generally are good for everyone on kickstarter, it means that they get marketed to more people and push other projects of a similar nature.
Companies are giving consumers the chance to allow obscure IP’s the chance to live
Shenmue is an IP that in no way would've survived or continued in a previous age, the fact that they’re turning to kickstarter and that sony is on board means that they’re desperate.
I can think of a lot of IP’s I've had to watch die just due to the nature of them being niche, Alan Wake, Beyond good and evil, Legacy of Kain. But with Triple A’s actually taking an investment into promoting their lesser known games on kickstarter it allows the consumers to have a chance at allowing franchisees to live.
Although this does raise the concern of inflation of companies shoving all their IP’s on kickstarter and making all the lesser known ones redundant. It is something that will need to be regulated and controlled by how much people pledge. The success of Shenmue should be cautioned and also watched carefully as its success serves as milestone for reviving dead IP’s
Do I want Shenmue 3 to succeed? absolutely, am I worried? yes but I’m above all excited to see where Shenmue takes the nature of kickstarter and future of other amazing creations