Sony confirmed on its official Twitch stream show today that it will in fact be funding Shenmue III now that the Kickstarter goal has been reached.
Asked what Sony’s involvement with the game’s development will entail, PlayStation Director of Third Party Production & Developer Relations Gio Corsi had this to say:
Absolutely. First off, Shenmue III was the number one ask on the whole “Building the List” [Twitter] campaign. When that first started, right off the bat: Shenmue III, Shenmue III, Shenmue III. So this has been an ask for as long as I’ve been at PlayStation.
We met with Suzuki-san at GDC last year and we started the long road of trying to figure out how we were going to get this whole thing made. We said, you know, the only way this is going to happen is if the fans speak up and we thought Kickstarter was the perfect place to do this. So we set a goal for $2 million and if the fans come in and you know, back it, then absolutely, we’re gonna make this a reality.
So Sony and PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game, and it’s gonna be run through Third Party Productions. We’re gonna help Ys Net get the game done. We’re gonna be partners on it the whole way and really excited to see this thing come out in a couple years.
It makes perfect sense, of course. There was no way Sony—or anyone else for that matter—was going to put up millions of dollars to make a sequel to a 14-year-old game without a show of real support (read: money) from fans to prove it would be worth the time and investment.
Considering the fans proved their commitment to getting the game made by completely funding the project within 12 hours—it currently sits at $2,793,368 as of press time—I’m sure Sony feels pretty vindicated right now. I’m also pretty sure that means you’re never going to see Shenmue III on another console.
You can fast-forward to 57:10 to hear it from Corsi himself as well as see some early footage from the game.