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Great new for Shenmue fans, as the original English voice-actor for Ryo, Corey Marshall, has announced he will be returning to his role for the upcoming sequel, Shenmue 3.
Announced today through the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter page, Corey Marshall will once again be lending his pipes to the protagonist of the fan-favorite action RPG series. According to series creator Yu Suzuki, there wasn’t much of an option when it came to deciding who would be doing the voice work for the game.
“The support for Mr. Marshall to reprise his role as Ryo has been just overwhelming,” said Suzuki in a campaign update. “We would like to thank Corey-san for coming back, and especially for all the support he has given to Shenmue over the years.”
As an added bonus, folks who are feeling especially generous and choose to contribute $1,000 and above for Shenmue 3 will receive a personalized message from Marshall, done in the voice of Ryo.
This all sounds like a nice feather in the cap of a crowdfunded game that’s already strutting around like a perky peacock. As you may remember, Yu Suzuki was brought up on stage during the 2015 PlayStation E3 press conference to announce the launch of his Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3. The response online pretty much crashed Kickstarter and, once it got its legs back under it, the game easily rushed on to clear its $2 million goal.
Suzuki said that he opted to go with Kickstarter for a couple of reasons. First, it allows him to keep creative control. Secondly, this process allows him to work more closely with the fans who have wanted to see the game made for over a decade. Fans will have an easy way to provide their input throughout the design process, making Shenmue 3 into more of a collaborative effort than traditional development can offer.
And while it has been announced that some funding will be provided by the Sony camp, Suzuki has made it clear that nothing raised from the Kickstarter campaign will ever find its way into Sony’s wallet.
As for how the project’s doing right now, Shenmue 3 has raised just shy of $3,800,000 from a total of about 47,000 backers. There are still 16 days left in the campaign, which means it’s definitely cruising toward a potential new Kickstarter record. Said record was actually only recently set by Bloodstained, the spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which managed to raise $5.5 million through crowdfunding.
Still, there’s no telling if Shenmue 3 will reach the lofty ambitions set forth by Suzuki. In order to realize the game as fully as he would like to, the director has said that $10 million would need to be raised. Either way, don’t expect to be playing the game anytime soon.