Shenmue III 3 PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Following the success of the record breaking Kickstarter last month, things have gone a teensy bit quiet in the Shenmue III camp. Hopefully that's because Yu Suzuki and crew are busy beavering away on the long overdue sequel, which is currently set to release on the PlayStation 4 and PC in 2017. As part of a new episode of GameSpot's excellent The Point series, however, Gio Corsi has shared a little more insight into the game – and how it ended up on Sony's stage during E3 2015.

"Right off the bat, Shenmue was top of the list from day one," said Third-Party Productions chief Gio Corsi of his #BuildTheList project. For those of you out of the loop, Sony asked PlayStation fans to name which brands they most wanted to see on the platform, and these results were then collated. It just so happened that not long after this data was collected, Yu Suzuki got into contact with SCEA executive Adam Boyes about the possibility of holding a meeting regarding the sequel.

"Ah dude, keeping Shenmue a secret was really tough," continued Corsi. "We had two codenames: one was Ebisu which is a district in Japan, and the other was ramen because it's my favourite food. Only a handful of people within Sony knew what those codenames meant." And this is how things remained for over a year, while Suzuki-san and Sony figured out a way to approach the sequel. They eventually decided upon Kickstarter, providing fans with an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.

The campaign, as you should already know, went on to become a record breaking success, ultimately earning over $6 million in fan funding. But what's the console manufacturer's role in the game going to be? "Through Third-Party Productions we're going to offer production support, milestone reviews, [and generally help] Yu Suzuki and his team through development, while our partner alliance team will help with PR, getting the demos and the trailers out, and, when the time comes, the opportunity to show the game at events," Corsi explained. "[We'll also help to] release the game and get it through submission for both the physical and digital copies."

As for whether the title will be a full console exclusive, Corsi alluded that these kinds of discussions are ongoing right now. "We wanted to get through the Kickstarter first," he concluded. To be honest, we'd bet our last toy capsule on that turning out to be the case, but we'll have to wait and see, won't we?