Let that number sink in for a second.
Six million, three hundred and thirty-three thousand, two hundred and ninety-six dollars. That’s how much Shenmue and Sega fans raised in 32 days to make Shenmue III possible. Wow. Good job fellow Shenmue nuts. I know that Yu Suzuki said that he needed around 10 million to make Shenmue II the optimal open world experience, but I don’t care. Fans for a couple of games released almost fifteen years ago on a console that had A 2-3 year life span and came out 16 years ago raised almost 6.5 million dollars in about 32 days and that’s amazing. The Shenmue III kickstarter showed that the power a united fan base can be capable of when they are ignored for so long. It’s an impressive dedication that only the Mother/Earthbound series matches if you ask me. Good job fellow Shenmue fans, you’ve earned a pat on the back. However, it’s been about a month since the kickstarter hit its deadline and the crazed excitement is starting to calm. Shenmue fans are sliding back into a phase we know all too well, the waiting game.
You know what though, that’s ok. If there’s one thing Shenmue fans are known for, (besides mad quick time event skills,) it’s their patience. If there is one virtue attached to a beloved story leaving on a cliffhanger for over a decade will teach you is patience. If you have ever played Shenmue I or II, you would know that the sheer depth to the game and heights of detail is intimidating. No one wants anything to be dumbed down and sloppy because the project was rushed. Shenmue fans aren’t going to prod the devs enough to take any such risks, for now fans will stick to their fan art, youtube videos, and the trickle of updates from the teams in charge…
Patience with the development and release of games is more important than ever. Things are so complicated with games these days with highly intricate graphics and game engines, and complex new technologies, There’s a lot to do and a lot to mess up, not to mention not all games are created equal in regards to manpower and resources. There are a lot of small companies and ambitious indie projects being developed by the smallest handful of people. Knowing when to sit back and wait is a good thing. When you try to rush all of that the end result can be disastrous. I’ve found delays are often well worth it in the long run and things are better for the developers, publishers and the fans if players can just chillax, yo. If you find yourself getting frustrated, distract yourself. It’s not that hard. Play a favorite older game, go and explore *gasp* outside. Try a classic you’ve heard of but never played before, like Shenmue. Or Shenmue 2. (I’m serious you guys it really is a really good game and you know ebay prices are only gonna go up, so buy it and play it. You know you want to.)
Nowadays everyone is more impulsive and impatient than ever, but it’s understandable. With the instant messaging, 2-day deliveries, internet shopping, digital download everything, we get a lot what we want right when we want it. It’s easier to give into that than to stop and think about the process and the end result, but it’s important to stop and think about the process, the product, and what we really want beyond the surface. We all should want a truly good game more than a game soon, tomorrow, now. Whether it’s a platformer, an FPS, or an RPG, games are art and art should be respected, at least a little bit. Like Shenmue. So innovative, and yet so little respect and sales for so long. sad.
Now, While I do advocate patience, (like, for 90% of this article and the Shenmue hype,) It’s important to recognize the difference between patience and blind compliance. Patience is being polite or quiet, ask the occasional question and checking for any news on the game. Those things all ok. Respectful petitions and community projects? Also ok. Still, players and consumers have the right to challenge and critique unfair situations. Breaking Kickstarter plans? Not ok, speak up. Find out a game will be missing big features long promised? not ok, be vocal. Ignoring the blatant wrongdoings isn’t fair to you, it’s just being blind and passive.Respect yourself and that place in the industry cycle. Final Fantasy XV is delayed for the 40 millionth time? Oh they’re communicating with the audience and sharing progress? that’s passable. Find out that your hard earned Kickstarter cash isn’t going to be used quite as it was explained after months of no to minimal updates? That’s bad. Learn of Shenmue 2’s U.S. Dreamcast release being cancelled last minute due to an exclusive deal with Xbox? That’s sad, but somewhere in the middle.
Patience is a virtue, I truly believe that. So, you might be asking yourselves, why is Mike testing our patience with the shameless Shenmue hype? Is mike a bit of a whore for writing this article? well, the answer is maybe. Yeah, kind of… I guess. But you know what? I’m ok with that. I’ll gladly do my duty standing under the proverbial lamppost in the alley if it brings in some love to something I love.