The wait is over. In 2001, Sega released the open-world adventure Shenmue II for the Dreamcast. It was the sequel to what was then the most expensive game developed of all time, and at release it was well received by critics and fans. Yet, somehow, Shenmue II didn’t become a smash hit, leaving a third entry in the series languishing in development. Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki finally left Sega in 2011. It seemed like Shenmue III would never happen.
Then, in 2015, there was a surprise announcement at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles. Yu Suzuki was ready to make another Shenmue, and it was to be crowdfunded on Kickstarter. In only one hour and 44 minutes, he raised $1 million. Suzuki went on to raise $6.3 million on Kickstarter, the most ever raised on the platform for a video game project. That’s a lot for video-game crowdfunding, but up to now, not a lot for a Shenmue game. So Sony and the game’s publisher Deep Silver pitched in to offer their support while Suzuki and his team finished the project.