Put the pitchforks and torches down, you unruly assholes.
I love Shenmue. I've played the first one several times. I think it's one of the finest games ever made. It's elegant in its simplicity and beautiful in the way it gives you an illusion of a living world. I didn't enjoy Shenmue II to the same extent, but I still want to know where things go from here.
Why? Why would I say "don't back Shenmue III" then?
Well, why should you? Sony apparently wants this game on their platform. They know that Shenmue fans are ravenous. They know that people will want to get in on this game just from all of the hype and desire over the years. They know people want it so much that they put aside time for it in their press conference and brought Yu Suzuki on stage.
There's a big fucking problem here. Sony stands to make money off of Shenmue III's existence, especially if it's only on PS4 and PC. They'll get a cut of every copy sold on the PSN store, and they know that a lot of people who were undecided will likely be swayed to a PS4. Sony will probably make more than $2 million in this exchange of money. So... why couldn't they just toss Yu Suzuki $2 million?
Well, why would they?
This is an experiment, and it's a dirty one. It's also already working, Shenmue III is almost at 1 million dollars as of 8:30 PM PST. Sony just pimped a game that it won't have any financial investment in on their grandest stage and they're going to get money off of it. Of course there were other games that they didn't have any financial involvement in... but every game there had some kind of funding for it. This? This is just free money and good PR for Sony.
Since you're blinded by the hype, let's look at some business basics. In the business world when you invest in something, you expect a return on investment. So if I give someone $1 million to sell a new product, I'd like to get money back on that. That's why I'm investing. I'm not just giving $1 million away for fun. As a Kickstarter backer, you get nothing back other than whatever tier you went into.
Sony just created a tidal wave of hype. Shenmue III will be forever associated with PS4, and they did it with nothing other than 2 minutes of time. Watching that dollar amount tick up on Kickstarter is proof that game companies can continue to do whatever they please.
Their deadliest weapon is hype and their easiest target is you, eager eyed gamer. Your wallets couldn't come out fast enough. No thought was put into the implications of this Kickstarter. Gamers have no impulse control, we're conditioned on the instant gratification that so many games provide us.
"I can 'donate' some money here and get Shenmue III? COUNT ME IN!"
Don't fund Shenmue III. Hold on to some bit of dignity and self respect as a gamer. Sony has clearly been in the loop on Shenmue III, but apparently $2 million was too much. This is a transparent ploy to see if Kickstarter can generate enough funds to build a large and impressive game. This is a test to see if Sony can successfully associate a game with the PS4 as an exclusive and not pay a dime. Instead, you pay for it.
Don't let this future exist.