From out of the blue, Yu Suzuki came on stage at Sony’s E3 2015 event to announce Shenmue 3, the final chapter in one of the most loved trilogies.
The original Shenmue launched in 1999 for the Dreamcast, followed shortly after by Shenmue 2 in 2001. It received critical acclaim for its day-and-night cycles, atmosphere and non-linear gameplay, considered innovations at the time.
Suzuki planned to launch a third title, but after the fall of the Dreamcast the project was postponed. 14 years later, it will finally arrive, to those that back the game on Kickstarter.
It is an odd route to take for an established video game developer, but Suzuki might have had troubles winning over publishers in Japan. SEGA originally published Shenmue, but for the past few years the company has been rife with internal issues, possibly leading Suzuki to the open platform.
Unsurprisingly, Shenmue 3 has already reached its $2 million (£1.3 million) goal on Kickstarter in under 12 hours. That is a good start, but the original Shenmue cost over $40 million (£25 million) to build in 1999, meaning Suzuki might need quite a bit more to add the special features that made the original a cult-classic.
At this rate, it might topple the current holder of the most funded game Kickstarter, Exploding Kittens. The card game managed to raise $8.7 million (£5.5 million) earlier this year, beating its target goal by a whopping 87825 per cent.
Shenmue 3 will be available on PS4 and PC, if the Kickstarter is successful. The planned date for launch is December 2017, giving the studio two years to build the third title in the series.