The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter blew past its $2 million goal in less than 24 hours, and is currently sitting at more than $3 million in backing, with a full month left in the campaign. That's impressive by any measure. But how, you may wonder, can a proper Shenmue game be built on a $2 million budget? After all, creator Yu Suzuki told Destructoid in 2011 that the original Shenmue cost $47 million to make, and that was 16 years ago.
The answer really isn't all that surprising: Sony is footing most of the bill. There's no mention of it in the Kickstarter campaign page, but Gio Corsi, Sony's director of third party production and developer relations, revealed the company's involvement on the PlayStation E3 Experience (via Kotaku) when he said, "We hit our goal in under 24 hours"—the noteworthy part of that statement being, "We."
"Sony and PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game, and it’s going to be run through third-party production," he explained. "We’re going to help Ys Net get the game done, we’re going to be partners on it the whole way, and [we're] really excited to see this thing come out in a couple of years."
There's no word on what the final budget will be, but given this level of success, I wouldn't be surprised to see big-publisher crowdfunding campaigns like this one become much more common in the future. The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter runs until July 17.