Thread: Shenmue III
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:57 AM   #24
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Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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A vocal number of fans proclaim as fact that Shenmue is not being funded by Sony at all. I expressed yesterday how I have my doubts about this, how I believe it's more likely the case (given all of the very carefully worded answers provided by the relevant parties and given the content of those answers) that Sony and other private sponsors are at least partially funding the development costs of this game. But I admit I could be wrong. We probably won't ever truly know (since there is a huge disincentive to ever reveal private sponsorship of development costs), but I admit it's certainly possible that Shenmue 3's development is being funded 100% by fan donations.

As you can see from these posters put together by Shenmue fans, though, a number of those who disagree that Sony is funding any development costs at all do so with utmost conviction:

Posters like these may end up doing more harm than good if it later comes to light that Sony was in fact funding some of Shenmue III's costs of development. I sympathize with the fans who made these, though -- obviously! I donated a chunk of my UPN meetup funds to this Kickstarter! -- but I disagree with the, as I see it, willed naivety by some fans to interpret the announcements we've received so far from Sony, Suzuki, and Team Awesome (Ys Net's PR group handling some of the Kickstarter, including communicating with donors) as signifying 0% involvement by non-Kickstarter sponsors in funding the costs of actually making (i.e. developing) this game.

Someone on Twitter recommended this podcast. It's quite long, and much too long for me to expect you or anyone else only casually interested in Shenmue to give it a listen. But since it's 6:55am and I guess I technically have the time, I may put it on in the background while I ready for the day. I'll post later sharing what they had to say and what valuable information I gleaned from it.

UPDATE: Okay, so, I'm paused at 26m09s on the YouTube video. Current impressions and summary:

I like the podcasters. The guy sounds like a down-to-earth, affable man. His voice also makes me picture him as the doppelganger of Denis Leary. The woman's voice, role on the show, and demeanor all remind me 100% of Ana Kasparian from The Young Turks. So in a way, it's like listening to an NPR program co-hosted by Denis Leary and Ana Kasparian. If that's your kind of thing, then check 'em out! If not, then stay away and let me do the summarizing!

One of the early focuses is on Suzuki's failure to communicate to fans in many of the Q&As he's answered. Specifically, they focus on how he told one fan on Reddit that "at $10 million, [Shenmue 3] will truly have the features of an open world." What does this mean exactly? Does this mean for $10 million we'll get Shenmue 1? Does this mean for $10 million we'll get something that surpasses Shenmue 1? If on a scale of 0 to 100 we place "truly open world" at 100, where would Shenmue 1 fall, where would Shenmue 2 fall, where would Shenmue 3 currently fall, and where would Shenmue 3 fall if it had $10 million? It's a solid interrogation, one I've given plenty of thought to myself. We'll have to see if Suzuki will be more forthcoming in future Q&As.

The next big focus of the podcast is on Awesome Japan's ineptitude. The podcasters are incredibly polite and professional as they explore this, but the fact remains that it's a solid eight or so minutes of them explaining that Awesome Japan just isn't cut out to handle this Kickstarter and that both their past and present actions reflect this. The lady podcaster explains Awesome Japan's track record:
  • established in July or August 2014
  • has managed 13 Kickstarters to date, 7 of which met their minimum funding goals
  • the sum total of all their Kickstarters' donations added up to less than $200,000 before Shenmue 3
  • the sum total of all their Kickstarter headcounts added up to "one-thirtieth" of Shenmue 3's current headcount
  • their past Kickstarters indicate that they lack the English fluency necessary to properly communicate the fans' messages to the content creators
  • their current Kickstarter indicates that they've hired someone who at least is more fluent in English than anyone previous but, given the volume of traffic Shenmue 3 has brought, he's simply swamped and can't answer everything
Stuff like that. Basically they suggest that if someone else had been managing this Kickstarter instead of Awesome Japan then it'd probably be doing a lot better right now. Who knows. Next point.

Right around where I've paused, they've shifted to discussing how the initial Kickstarter goal of $2 million was possibly set too low. This is something I agree with and have brought up before. But it's also something which is debated in the community right now. A lot of people say that if the goal had been set at $4 or $5 million that the project might not have taken off like it did, and that such a failure to take off coupled with the accusations that Sony is funding the game in private would've spelled doom for the Kickstarter. I disagree with this, as does the male host of the podcast. We both seem to think that if the initial goal had been set at around $5 million that a) it would've been met within the first 24 hours and b) we'd currently be looking at a Kickstarter that is $7 or $8 million funded instead of only $4.5 million funded. Oh well. No way to know who's right or wrong on this one since we don't have the power to see into alternate futures with certainty. We can only speculate.

Last edited by Talon87; 07-08-2015 at 07:37 AM.
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