Shenmue III raised $7 million in crowdfunding

Fans' enthusiasm for a new Shenmue translated into a respectable sum of money.

Shenmue 3 New Character E3

Shenmue III collected more than $7 million in backer pledges during its crowdfunding campaign, which wrapped up in September, developer Ys Net announced this week.

The grand total of $7,179,510 USD includes $6,333,295 from 69,320 Kickstarter backers. In total, 81,087 people pledged money to Shenmue III, which is set to launch August 27, 2019, developer Yu Suzuki said on his official website.

The original two Shenmue games got the remaster treatment this year, with Sega relaunching them as a package in August for $30. Now new and old fans of the series have a brand new game to look forward to, and their interest has proven to be valuable indeed.

Shenmue first launched on the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 and was one of the earliest 3D open world games ever created. Its influence can still be felt today, as open worlds are perhaps the most prevalent game format that exists. Shenmue gave all its characters things to do, and they’d busy themselves with daily routines that the player could watch or ignore. It’s easy to take this kind of thing for granted today, but in 20 years ago it was genuinely ground-breaking.

Here’s a trailer for Shenmue III, which features series protagonist Ryo and a very large, strange man.

Backer rewards will ship to supporters next year when Shenmue III launches in August. They range from a digital sountrack to the original version of Ryo’s leather bomber jacket, which Massaya Matsukaze wore during Shenmue’s press tour when it launched. That cost one backer $8,000.