Shenmue III got funded July 17th. They asked for $2m and got $6.3. This still puts it well behind its highest stretch goal, $11m, which would have added some kind of “magic maze” – something we can only dream of. But, applause all round. The Shenmue III Kickstarter was a “success”. I’m sure Yu Suzuki is breakdancing next to a hot dog truck in joy.
While some have claimed incorrectly that Shenmue III is the most crowdfunded video game, there are still other projects that have made more, and are therefore better. Here’s a look at just some of the projects you could have funded instead, if you weren’t so out of the loop:
1. Star Citizen
Total Raised: $85,168,338
The Citizen Kane sequel Orson Welles’ would have wanted.
While Star Citizen only raised $2,134,374 on Kickstarter, the fundraising continued after it closed and is still ongoing today. Guiness World Records confirmed the project had raised over $65,300,000. The game’s website now claims it’s raised over $85,000,000, and it still tracks it here. This means Star Citizen is valued at just over 7 Magic Mazes. Of course, it doesn’t have magic mazes, as unlike Shenmue III, it has actual gameplay (gameplay not confirmed).
2/3. Pebble & Pebble Time
Total Raised: $10,266,845 / $20,338,986
Unlike Shenmue III it seems that Pebble couldn’t afford the rights to the “Papyrus” font.
Pebble is a smartwatch packed with features. More features than Shenmue III. But, admittedly, you cannot instantly learn moves on scrolls using the Pebble. At the time Pebble was the most funded project on Kickstarter. Pebble Time was the second generation of watches, which raised nearly double the amount of the original Pebble. We can only hope Shenmue IV brings home double the amount, just pushing it over £11m and into that sweet, sweet Magic Maze territory.
Total Raised: $18,439,086
It’s super cool and futuristic, just like Watch_Dogs (TM).
Ethereum is a “decentralized publishing platform featuring stateful user-created digital contracts and a Turing-complete contract programming language.” It’s so complicated that I don’t even know what it is, but it looks very advanced. At one point Shenmue was also advanced, when it first released in 1999, 16 years ago. If Shenmue III is the same, it will no longer be very advanced at all, and will feel old. But, if it’s updated, it will likely feel like a disappointment to fans of the original. This makes it destined to disappoint someone someday, as opposed to Ethereum, which is aiming to “decentralize the internet and return it to its democratic roots”.
5. Coolest Cooler
Total Raised: $13,285,226
Coolest Cooler claims to be “a portable party disguised as a cooler, bringing blended drinks, music and fun to any outdoor occasion” — it’s got a whole bunch of stuff you’d need for a party in it. And, apparently a lot of people are into it, as it made a whole load of money. You know who doesn’t need it? People who have Shenmue III, locked away in their rooms, their only idea of a party involving a sad farewell hot dog with Tom, cruising for bars with sailors in them, or awkwardly hopping over stones to cross a river.
6. Ubuntu Edge
Total Raised: $12,814,196
The Ubuntu Edge didn’t even reach its target and it still made more than Shenmue III. As it was an Indie GoGo project and not a KickStarter project that means they still get the funds anyway, and simply have to scale the project back. Even though they wanted a cool $32m, rasiing just under $13m isn’t much to sniff at either, and is enough for a magic maze. The Ubuntu Edge is meant to bridge the gap between smartphone and PC, running on either an Ubuntu or Android OS when in its phone mode, and able to run Ubuntu as a computer when attached to a monitor.
Unlike this high concept mobile phone, Shenmue III will probably still have rotary phones you’ll need to dial slowly. Ridiculous. Would Ryo have missed his appointment with Goro if he’d had an Ubuntu Edge? I doubt it. Let’s get it together, Mr. Suzuki.
7. Flow Hive
Total Raised: $12,174,187
This is basically porn for bee fans.
Perhaps the most revolutionary project on this list, the Flow Hive is a type of beehive with a valve (Half Life 3 confirmed) on it, allowing beekeepers to extract honey without disturbing the hive. Despite the first Shenmue having a great section where you take care of an orphaned kitten, the series never touches on bees. This is a pitfall that could potentially be addressed in Shenmue III, but with the look of the stretch goals I really don’t have high hopes. Step it up, Shenmue.
8. Exploding Kittens
Total Raised: $8,782,571
This is aroundabout the amount Shenmue III made in the first 24 hours too.
Exploding Kittens is “a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams”. Exploding Kittens doesn’t even have computer graphics and it made more than Shenmue III. Considering the first Shenmue had a legendary budget of around $70m (incl. marketing), to see the third entry in the series outstripped by a wacky card game is a bit depressing for fans of the series, or it would be if they weren’t mostly delusional.
Total Raised: $8,596,474
Pictured: a list of people with too much money.
OUYA was once a big deal, even though nothing about it was very good at all. It was underpowered Android in a box that promised more than it could deliver, managing to one-up some of its competitors by the sheer gall of its marketing alone. But, now the dust has settled it’s kind of disappeared, recently being bought out after financial troubles by Razer, to be harvested for parts and patents. But, with all said and done, it was possible to play both Shenmue & Shenmue II on the device — albeit quite poorly and with a lot of problems. The kicker (kickstarter?)? OUYA already got Shenmue III as a an OUYA exclusive ages ago:
10. Gut Weißenhaus
Total Raised: €7,500,000 (just over $8,000,00)
Gut Weißenhaus made its funding somewhere else to everywhere else on this list, on the equity-based crowdfunding website Companisto. Unlike Shenmue III where one of the best rewards you could get was some second-hand jacket, Companisto backers actually receive reasonable rewards based on their investment — “Share of the Profit”, “Exit Participation”, and “Share of the Company Value or Property Value”. You know, like real funding.
The funding was used to turn this historic manor house into a luxury resort. The restaurant at Gut Weißenhaus, Courier, is so good it even received a coveted Michelin star in 2015. Do you know how many Michelin stars Shenmue III will have? Zero.
Disclaimer: Oscar is actually incredibly excited for Shenmue III, and the inevitable HD rereleases of the first two Shenmue games.