Shenmue 3 is much more of an idea than an actual game at this stage; the scope of the project will depend on how much money is raised through the game's Kickstarter and various other, as-yet unannounced sources. But based on a recent AMA at Reddit, Yu Suzuki needs a lot of money to make the game he'd like to make.
"I will say this: if we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality," Suzuki wrote.
"At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world."
The campaign has, to date, raised $3.5 million out of its $2 million goal. That may seem like a good amount of money, but it's a small percentage of the original games' budgets and would only allow Suzuki and his team to create a bare bones experience.
Co-producer Cedric Biskay also noted that Sony will help fund the PlayStation 4 version and help with promotion.
@FullReactiveEye SONY will not get any money from the KS, they will help to finance the PS4 version and will also help for advertisement.— Cedric Biscay (@CedricBiscay) June 20, 2015
So we know that the team needs much more money than the original amount to make a game that's recognizably Shenmue in scope and features, but where that money will come from remains something of a mystery.
"For right now, all I can tell you is that YS Net has been looking at other sources of funding and we're preparing other sources of funding, so for the Shenmue 3 project it will be what we can source from outside plus the Kickstarter," Yu Suzuki told Polygon when asked about the budget. "But for right now that's all we can say."
We do know that these outside sources will contribute to the final budget of the game, although Suzuki won't divulge any details.
"I really can't get into that, but there are other sources of funding that will be put together with the Kickstarter. ... I can't get into specifics, but for right now I just want to keep the comment that yes, I have funding sources outside Kickstarter that I collected through my company YS Net, and that will combine with the Kickstarter for this project."
Further questions about budget or funding were refused during the interview.