One of the biggest fan reactions during PlayStation's E3 press conference this week was news that fan-favorite Shenmue was finally getting a third title, said Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony Computer Entertainment's head of world wide studios.
While the enthusiastic reaction was driven almost entirely by news of Shenmue 3, the continued interest seems driven in part by questions of how game director Yu Suzuki was going to make the game with so sparse a budget.
The game's announcement came with a pretty massive caveat: Shenmue 3 was seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign. And it only was asking for $2 million. That compared to the $47 million that Suzuki once estimated it would cost.
Yoshida says that discrepancy is due to a number of factors.
"This is not a Sega project, they are doing this as an indie studio and Yu has a small team," he said. "It's indie development which is why he chose Kickstarter to seek funding.
"Once it is successful SCE will give a lot of support to the game, including financial support. That's no different than what we've done with other games like Sportsfriends."
Suzuki spoke with Polygon earlier this week about the funding and his approach to the game. In part, Suzuki said that game's depth would be dependent on funding.
Yoshida echoed that sentiment.
"In terms of final development cost, I think Suzuki is being flexible depending on the funds available," he said. "I don't think he's setting this up to be this massive open world game. I think he's waiting for Kickstarter to end and then see."