Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida says Shenmue 3 IP deal was between SEGA and Yu Suzuki

While Sony announced Shenmue 3 on stage and even admitted that they are involved with some funding for the project, fans are starting to wonder who owns the IP and what Sony had to do with getting the kickstarter going. If Sony’s involved why don’t they just fund the whole thing? According to Playstation President of Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida, the deal for the Kickstarter was done by Yu Suzuki and SEGA.
During a interview with Engadget, they asked Yoshida-San the following: ” Why did Sony PlayStation decide to allow that crowdfunding announcement as opposed to funding it?”

“Ah, no, no, no. It’s a very exciting project and there are lots of PlayStation fans asking for it. But it’s a Sega IP and of course Suzuki Yu-san is the creator. So somehow Suzuki-san was able to work out with Sega to allow them to Kickstart the project. And because we liked the project, our third-party relations team struck a deal to help Kickstart the campaign at the E3 conference. That’s great PR.”

Sony has stated that they are willing to help promote the game and have shown that by allowing the Kickstarter to be announced on their stage at E3 in front of millions. Fans have been a bit angry with Sony’s involvement, in my opinion in the end of the day all the money funded by fans and Sony will go into Shenmue 3 to make it a better game, so in the end the consumer wins. No one is forcing anyone to donate to the Kickstarter, you can always wait for the released product. What are your thoughts?


21 responses to “Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida says Shenmue 3 IP deal was between SEGA and Yu Suzuki

  1. Hitrax says:

    Hmmm, I’m wondering why Sony is determined to support this even more now if they certainly aren’t part of the deal at all then, I’m still wondering how far the extent of Sega’s involvement goes beyond being the IP holder and owner, Sony wont get anything from this for their involvement in that case if it really is solely between Sega and Yu Suzuki, also he’s not really separate from Sega completely in the way we think of it, he’s still a Sega advisor and his studio has publishing privileges direct from Sega’s main HQ. I think there’s more to this than what’s been made public so far.

    • George says:

      Like he said, good PR. Shenmue was all over the news and it was ‘announced at Sony’s E3 conference’. Also being console exclusive to PS4 helps sell units.

    • Hitrax says:

      Well it seems Yu Suzuki has already stated in the latest Famitsu today as well that the game is being primarily funded through Kickstarter. Not Sony.
      Sony is helping with any extra development needs and probably with marketing when the time comes, remains to be seen yet on how much Sony will market it, it seems also, that their motivation for getting involved was initially based on a poll asking which games thy’d most love to see on the PS4, and Shenmue came first, followed by Sega’s own Yakuza 5 as well in second place.

  2. lord says:

    Meanwhile we r on our way to 3.3 mil. We should ignore the names sony and sega. Let us pretend tbat sony is a man that funds the game on ks. And so does sega. At the end of day. Thats what it is. Lets fund

    • Senjav says:

      We still need more than that to get the proper game, 2 mill was the very bare bones version, just enough to get the story of the next chapter in SIII revealed and less on the game play elements, we need to at least get it past 5 mill to get the full experience with no cut down version with key bits missing. It seems to have slowed down as people are thinking that 2mill is all it will take to get everything but it’s only enough to get the very basics, it still needs more funding, a lot more to get the standards the same as the Dreamcast originals at least.

    • Eck says:

      @lord, Yakuza budget was 10 million- Witcher 2 as well. 10 million is minimum for open district or open world games. if less than 10 million we might get something like Wolf Among Us or The Walking Dead style for Shen 3. Trust me we need at least 15 million similar to Witcher 3’s budget to see something as good as Witcher 3. (Speak of open world games)- Fact is making games in Japan is more expensive than Poland, so even 15 million is still a bit low. 20 million would give us the best Shenmue in my opinion.

    • Winifred says:

      Not to rain on the parade here, however, what’s the likelyhood that this campaign has also revealed Shenmue as a dead franchise with no hope of rising to the heights of popularity of the Final Fantasy and Zelda franchises – which was what Yu Suzuki was originally envisioning, look at the backers, only 40,000+ so far with 28 more days to go, even games that get 200,000 sales aren’t that relevant, if Shenmue had at the very least, something like 500,000+ loyal fans, that’d be enough to keep the franchise relevant for future possibilities. The original sold over 1million worldwide on the Dreamcast when it originally came out, and that’d would have been excellent for 2000 – if it weren’t for the fact that the project cost 70+million to produce at the same time, as there wasn’t a big enough userbase at the time to support higher sales, it’d have to have sold something like 3 or 4 million to have made a profit.
      And yes, the number of backers isn’t relevant for this fund but it is for the companies that see it, only 40,000 potential sales is not sustainable anymore for a market the size of the videogame industry and for any real potential in the re-birth of the franchise, like I said, 500,000 minimum would be a good start these days.
      And the reason I bring this up is because they are likely using this method to gauge the future sustainability of the franchise as well, and so far from the looks of it, it’s impressive based on the speed of the funds raised, but not on the number of backers – which indicate potential sales.

    • Gen says:

      So, according to this Bestseller Dreamcast games list, Shenmue 1 went sold for 1,18 Million Copies !!!
      We currently have “ONLY” 42.000~ Backers, SO doing the maths:
      42000 × 100 ÷ 1180000 = 3.56%
      Did you realise that, on the original Shenmue owners, we are only 3,56 % to support the game now.?!
      I don’t think that’s because original Shenmue Buyers don’t want to support it, but more because they don’t know anything about that Kickstarter, and this is the point on which we have to fight now I think.
      We can raise the numbers of backer more easily than augmenting our own pledges.
      We have to be smart and find all the possibles ways to make that Kickstarter more popular, I’m sure this is the key of the victory people.

    • Fintry says:

      remember also that many of the backers probably won’t be original gamers from the original release, so the percentage is probably even less than that

    • Mark says:

      The relevant question is how many people bought Shenmue 2?

      The first game was heavily hyped to Dreamcast owners, so a number of people may have bought it without really getting into it. The fan base can be better measured by the number of people who bought the sequel, especially since it wasn’t that readily available.

      Dreamcast owners in North America had to import it from Europe, and it had a fairly silent release on Xbox, a console it was ill-suited to be an exclusive for in the first place. Due to these circumstances, Shenmue 2 sales were far lower than Shenmue 1 sales, and it’s hard to know how it would have faired in North America if it had a proper release on the Dreamcast.

      Nevertheless, there should theoretically be enough fans of the series to at least double the number of KS backers. But 15 years is a long time to go by without any Shenmue news. That’s why so many fans were caught off-guard, and one month is a very short amount of time to try to get the word out to all the fans.

      Not to mention that the PS4 affiliation will turn some people off. Many of us have not too fond memories of the PS2 and the legion of morons who shorted the Dreamcast’s future based on lies about PS2 being 10x technically superior and producing CGI quality graphics. I look at Sony’s current involvement with Shenmue 3 as both a blessing and a curse. The E3 publicity was very good for the Kickstarter launch, but at the same time, the impression that this game is a Sony project (and Sony’s typical doublespeak) has resulted in putting all the attention on Sony and whether they are funding the game rather than on the Kickstarter.

  3. Adam says:

    “No one is forcing anyone to donate to the Kickstarter, you can always wait for the released product.”

    I agree with this.

  4. lord says:

    True that. Complaining is silly. But who am i? I cant shut peoples mouth. Im not god obviously. And besides god gave us free will. And with that comes consequences. All with all. You are free to donate. And free to ignore.

    But to those who care every penny dollar euro counts. Let us throw away the arguing in the toilet. And fund this game and enjoy it for what it is.

  5. Shenmue Fan says:

    My only complaint with the Kickstarter is the incentives. So if there is a big name company behind the project like Sega or Sony, and the Kickstarter was a “let’s gauge real interest and see if people put their money where their mouth is” type thing, then what are the incentives for? Why would Sony or Sega need an extra couple thousand to expand a section of the game, have more puzzles or add more moves? Shouldn’t it be, “OK, we hit the mark, there’s enough interest” now let’s fund the project to the fullest and help make it the best game it can be in reason since said companies name will be attached?

  6. bertodecosta says:

    One of the complaint is from Forbes :

    The article’s title used to be “Stop Donating to The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Right Now”, but then they changed it into “Should You Still Be Donating To The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter?”

    • George says:

      Yep. It’s a terrible article too considering how much the author is assuming things that he doesn’t know about. Should people donate to Shenmue III? If you want a bigger game and better game, yes. If you don’t care about the game and don’t want to help fund it, there is always waiting for the final product.

      I think the issue here is people thinking Sony had more to do with it instead of a bit of funding (yes, indie studios ask families and other businesses for funding and make up the rest via Kickstarter or other crowd funding ways).

      I personally don’t find anything wrong with having other investors plus the kickstarter money as long as it goes into the final product.

    • DCGX says:

      Forbes has terrible articles on gaming in general.

  7. It’s not altruistic to donate to the Kickstarter. You’re buying something for the money. I paid $29.00 for a game. Where the rest of the money comes from means nothing to me. I’m getting a PS4 for Father’s day this weekend, and Shenmue III tipped the scale for me.

  8. Ben Burnham says:

    ” so in the end the consumer wins. No one is forcing anyone to donate to the Kickstarter, you can always wait for the released product.”

    Yeah, except if you’re a Shenmue fan, you really should be donating to the Kickstarter…

  9. Eck says:

    It’s not looking good, it’s slowing right down. And all the stretch goals aren’t reached and at this rate if it doesn’t pick up pace, it’s going to fail to get anything other than a cut down version that people will like less, Shenmue III will be less liked and if it doesn’t do well, that’s the end of that franchise for good methinks.

  10. Fintry says:

    Some of the reasons might be due to the lack of payment options, they are only accepting three different cards, when Paypal was accepted for that other new project, it received 10mill literally overnight.
    Yu Suzuki seriously needs to add that, it’s part of the reason why so many, myself included, haven’t been able to pledge any money towards it yet.

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