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How Sony and Shenmue III Killed Crowdfunding

Shenmue 3

On Monday night, Sony’s E3 press conference brought the house down. There were a lot of cheer-worthy moments, but it was three particular surprise announcements that really blew everyone away. Two of them, an official reveal of The Last Guardian and the remake of Final Fantasy VII, have been rumored forever, but I don’t think anybody saw the Shenmue III reveal coming. And I, like so many others, was caught up in the moment of that announcement. But I, like I think many others, was also kind of confused. Because Sony wasn’t really announcing Shenmue III. They were co-announcing the Kickstarter that would ostensibly fund Shenmue III. And when the link—obnoxiously shortened “bit.ly/saveshenmue”—went live, the $2 million goal didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Here is the sequel to a game with an infamously bloated budget. Shenmue II cost in the realm of $70 million to make in 2001, making it the most expensive game yet. How was a sequel that anybody cared about going to cost $2 million?

But let’s not even get into that, because that wasn’t the problem with this announcement. The problem was a whole lot more fundamental about that.

Alec writes about movies, video games, and technology on the internet.

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