A little more than a month after Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night became the most-funded game Kickstarter of all time, there's a new king of the hill. Shenmue 3 has easily surpasssed Bloodstained's $5.45 million funding total, and is now powering its way toward the $6 million mark.
The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter has pulled in a little over $5.7 million at the time of writing, well past its original $2 million goal, but still far short of the $10 million Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki said will be needed for the game to "truly have the features of an open world." To help drive the total higher, Ys Net has added a pair of last-minute reward tiers: a $39 "Save Shenmue Digital Upgrade," which includes the $29 reward (a copy of the game) along with a "Kickstarter exclusive wallpaper set," and a limited-quantity $2500 "Shenmue Character Bust" tier, which are actually already gone. Sorry.
It'll be fun to see just how close the campaign can get to Suzuki's $10 million dream. I said during the closing hours of the Bloodstained Kickstarter that I didn't expect it would manage to break $5 million before the deadline, and it easily did, so I'm not nailing myself down to anything this time. $7 million for Shenmue? Sure, why not.
It also bears a note that, in spite of all the dire predictions of crowdfunding fatigue, it sure doesn't look like we've hit peak Kickstarter yet. Lingering questions about Sony's involvement and the inescapable fact that the final Kickstarter total will be just a fraction of the original Shenmue budget have had no apparent impact on the campaign's success. The people, as they say, have spoken.
Suzuki and other members of the Shenmue 3 team will take part in a "Final Hours" Twitch broadcast beginning at 4 pm PT. The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter will come to an end at 6:51 pm PT today.