Shenmue 3 Hits $7.17 Million In Crowdfunding After ‘Slacker Backer’ Push

Shenmue 3 Hits $7.17 Million In Crowdfunding After ‘Slacker Backer’ Push
Image: YSNET

Apparently unsatisfied with the $US6.3 ($8.71) million pittance it brought in via Kickstarter for Shenmue 3, developer YS NET launched a second “Slacker Backer” funding round via PayPal. While nowhere near as successful as the original campaign, it pulled in another $US846,000 ($1,169,000), bringing the final war chest to a mighty US$7.17 ($9.91) million.

Closing earlier this month, the Slacker Backer campaign was effectively a continuation of the Kickstarter, allowing those who missed out to snag a similar set of rewards.

The goal of the additional campaign wasn’t to gather necessary funds — the Kickstarter destroyed its $US2 ($2.76) million target — but to “make the game even bigger and deeper” via stretch goals:

While the full game will be completed as promised with the use of the funding collected on Kickstarter, any additional funding collected here will go towards reaching the Stretch Goals to make the game even bigger and deeper.

The three month window was set to allow a long enough time to for everyone who wants to support Shenmue III to do so, but short enough to keep the release date on track.

It’s safe to say YS NET has all the coin it needs to make Shenmue 3 happen. The big question now is whether or not it’ll hit the August 2019 release date, especially considering it’s already experienced several delays.

Slacker Backer Campaign! [Shenmue 3, via Gamasutra]


  • This is still a tiny amount compared to what was spent on the first two games. I see two options here:

    1. the backers are going to be hugely disappointed when they receive a game with a far smaller scope than the original two.

    2. the money raised through crowd funding is only a small fraction of the real budget of the process. That would make the crowd funding more akin to pre-orders, or as a demonstration of interest when they were negotiating with the real investors.

    • I think a lot of the money went on the prolonged time and associated resources of development. But you’re right: These are complex and intricate games. I’m surprised and overjoyed they even exist.
      There’d be ways of making it cheaper and still a relevant product (personally, I worry about the graphical style being depicted to satisfaction and would probably prefer they stylised it via cel shading), but it’s a big risk for a title with such a specific audience.

  • I know it’s not quite the situation here… But I am curious at what point we went from kickstarter type funding setups living or dying on that funding to “Nah, let’s do a second run and just see if we can get more money.”

    In my mind its all starting to come off as pretty shady.

    Just like all the other “Let us get more money from ‘customers’ for a product that we have no clue we’ll ever release.” scam- I mean, ‘funding methods’ are.

  • Seems to be one of those good news stories that gets more questionable over time. I loved Shenmue but I have no idea how they’ll pull this off and make it look decent.
    Still… I’ll likely buy it

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