With nearly two days until Shenmue III’s ends its fantastic streak on Kickstarter, video game’s co-producer Cédric Biscay of Shibuya Productions’ sat down to share details about the popular project, including its history.
During the discussion, Biscay discussed what caused him to create Shibuya:
“At the very core I’m a fan of video games and animation. I started at age 5 with a monochrome CPC 646 and played import games at a time when games took ages to come out in France (if they came out at all). I’m also an out-and-out fan of the Sega Saturn and the Neo Geo Pocket Color but I’ve had more or less every single console at one time or another. I started my first business in 2002, Shibuya International, which was a consulting firm specialized in business relationships between Europe and Japan.
“In 2014 I officially set up Shibuya Productions in Monaco. The business’ main goal is to produce animation and video games. Last April we opened a branch in Japan. Since the 2006 school year I’ve also been a professor of video games at Master 1 and Master 2 level at the Ecole Polytechnique de Nice – Sophia Antipolis.”
Noting how he met Shenmue’s Yu Suzuki, Biscay explained:
“A friend organized a meeting between us at his office a few years ago, as I wanted to invite him to an event. We got on very well straight away. We started [discussing Shenmue III] by drinking some excellent wine. The first time we properly spoke about the project was in Monaco in 2013.”
Clearing the air of the recent drama about Shenmue III’s funding, Biscay stated:
“It annoyed me because people forget that this game has never been able to be developed in the last 14 years, and so it’s clear that the Kickstarter campaign played a vital role in its funding. I think that the media’s desire to create buzz around this issue will strain our campaign by at least $2m. I don’t have any words for the minority of journalists who seem to sometimes forget their duty to provide information by writing about their interpretations rather than facts.
“We know that to sell as much as we can we need to create a sensational game. Saying that Shenmue 3 is great and that it should be funded isn’t going against the consensus, and so probably not interesting enough for them.
“The people who have taken the time to read the statements and the official pages have all the information at their disposal. To put it clearly, without Kickstarter, Shenmue 3 would never have seen the light of day, and so the campaign is exactly what you’re entitled to expect from participatory funding. Luckily, the Shenmue community is extraordinary and in the end I’m very happy with the campaign, especially from a human perspective. Most people understand that I committed Shibuya Productions to making Shenmue 3 so that the series could be brought back to life despite the risks that this entails.”
In regards to which video game systems will Shenmue III will be available for, Biscay added:
“Sony immediately made it clear that they wanted Shenmue 3 on PS4. I can’t tell you anything about the Xbox One or the Wii U as I don’t have any information about those consoles.”
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