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Confessions of a Shenmue III super-backer

Peter Campbell is one of those few people, who paid $10k to revive Shenmue III at Kickstarter. Here’s why he did it.

Yesterday we released an article about the super-backers of the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign. These are people that pledged $1,000-$10,000. We were able to get in contact with Peter Campbell, one of thirteen people who gave $10,000 to revive the beloved Shenmue series. Here’s why he did it.

The Shenmue Discovery

I first saw Shenmue when I was 16 years old. I didn’t have a Dreamcast yet, but I knew I was getting one on Christmas so I bought the first issue of the UK Official Dreamcast Magazine in September 1999. When the second issue came out, the magazine ran a huge article about Yu Suzuki and Shenmue, that was when my life changed forever.
After Shenmue 2 ended, we went through another 12 years of heartache, waiting to see any update of a third installment – which then turned into waiting for any updates that were Shenmue related. Despite the love from its community after all these years, it was a dead franchise. Sometimes you just have to face reality. After many more years Shenmue 3 was finally announced at E3… I still can’t believe it to this day. It truly is a dream come true for me on so many levels.

The $10,000 Donation

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People can be so quick to judge especially within the Shenmue community, so all I can be is honest. For me it’s a 50/50 split in terms of how I feel about my donation. Yes I want to give the maximum amount to Shenmue 3, but at the end of the day $10,000 is a lot of money for a middle class, run-of-the-mill, average Joe working an average job.
But, I have no children or major commitments so it’s definitely an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. I tried to be sensible and pledged $500, but I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. The chance to meet Yu Suzuki, to shake his hand, and simply say thank you for giving us Shenmue in the first place, and also to thank him for finally putting Shenmue 3 in development.
Just to be clear, I didn’t have the money when this began. Far from it. But I wanted to give everything I had to Shenmue 3, and I also didn’t want to let the opportunity to go to Japan for the first time and meet Suzuki-san go to waste. I went down every avenue to get the money together and in the end everything came together. It was a great ending to the most stressful 4 weeks of my life.

Shenmue’s Success

Shenmue is a one of a kind game. It took all sorts of different aspects of gaming, put them together in a way only Suzuki-san and AM2 could and the result was a game that so many games have tried to copy since, but have never quite equalled what Shenmue achieved. From the story, direction, production, animation, controls, interface, texturing, rendering, scenario, to audio… everything not only works together, but accents each attribute in some way. That’s the skill of a gaming genius which Suzuki-San is rightfully regarded as. Most games have tried to reach that bar and some may even have came close. Those games would usually hit a few of the levels on the scale of Shenmue, but fall in others.
For me, the biggest reason Shenmue has remained so big is its fans – the community. I mean for me, seeing my friends I have talked to in the community for over 12 years make life decisions based on a video game is just incredible. It is a testament to the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that Shenmue evokes in people. I’ve seen many people learn Japanese, take up Kung-Fu, Tai-Chi and other martial arts just because of this game. There are even some people who met their partners through the community and are now married and living in Japan and China!! How crazy is that?! What if they never picked up a copy of Shenmue? How different would their lives be now?
I just hope that with the possible HD releases of the original games, and also Shenmue III, the franchise will get bigger and also influence and change the lives of its fans for the better.

Peter Campbell, Shenmue III Backer

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