Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

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Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:54 am

I mean, they're worth way over a billion dollars so the amount required to get Shenmue III fully funded should basically be nothing compared to what they're worth, right? I'm confused :?:
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby KidMarine » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:08 am

Well, the series cost them a lot of money and there wasn't really any proof that there was a huge demand for the series outside of hardcore fans before the Kickstarter.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Cyberman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:46 am

I agree on what KidMarine said. Shenmue costed around 70 million (back in the late 90s terms) I'm not entirely sure if that's true or not.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:16 pm

KidMarine wrote: Well, the series cost them a lot of money and there wasn't really any proof that there was a huge demand for the series outside of hardcore fans before the Kickstarter.


I know but that was "before" the highly successful Kickstarter. After Shenmue became the highest funded Kickstarter game ever, shouldn't that have gave them more than enough of a reason to help it out? Even the teaser trailer has got more than 700K views so all of this should have shown Sega that Shenmue III is a big thing.

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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:36 pm

Because it's the kinda decision that can get a lot of people sacked.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:50 pm

MiTT3NZ wrote: Because it's the kinda decision that can get a lot of people sacked.


And why is that? Does Sega go around firing any employee that's a fan of Shenmue and says something like "I can't take this shit anymore Sega, I'm getting the money and running away with it for Shenmue"?!
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Cyberman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:52 pm

Shenmue_Legend wrote:
KidMarine wrote: Well, the series cost them a lot of money and there wasn't really any proof that there was a huge demand for the series outside of hardcore fans before the Kickstarter.


I know but that was "before" the highly successful Kickstarter. After Shenmue became the highest funded Kickstarter game ever, shouldn't that have gave them more than enough of a reason to help it out? Even the teaser trailer has got more than 700K views so all of this should have shown Sega that Shenmue III is a big thing.


Actually it's over 800,000.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:56 pm

Cyberman wrote:
Shenmue_Legend wrote:
KidMarine wrote: Well, the series cost them a lot of money and there wasn't really any proof that there was a huge demand for the series outside of hardcore fans before the Kickstarter.


I know but that was "before" the highly successful Kickstarter. After Shenmue became the highest funded Kickstarter game ever, shouldn't that have gave them more than enough of a reason to help it out? Even the teaser trailer has got more than 700K views so all of this should have shown Sega that Shenmue III is a big thing.


Actually it's over 800,000.


Holy damn it's even better than I thought! You see? Why would Sega not help a series that keeps defying the odds like this?!
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby OL » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:12 pm

Shenmue is just a proven money sink for them. It technically made them next to nothing in profits with the first two games. Businesses typically run based on the numbers, and the numbers don't work out in Shenmue's favor. Even that 800,000 views is paltry compared to the views that more successful games tend to get.
Shenmue_Legend wrote:I mean, they're worth way over a billion dollars so the amount required to get Shenmue III fully funded should basically be nothing compared to what they're worth, right?

That's not really how things work. That's like saying "Donald Trump is worth however many billions or hundreds of millions... why doesn't he just give me a million dollars? It's like nothing to him. He can afford it."
70 million has never been "basically nothing" to anyone. It doesn't matter how much Sega is worth, 70 million will always be a lot of money. And if they could put that toward more profitable ventures instead, then there's no way they're going to just throw it out there for a brand that previously didn't even break even.
The success of the Kickstarter likewise means nothing. It only proves that the people who put money into it are interested, not that the public as a whole is. Shenmue still isn't a huge name, no matter how well the Kickstarter did.
In another topic you also once said that 50 million would be nothing to Bill Gates, so we should get him to help fund the game. I get the sneaking suspicion you might be slightly naive about these things.

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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:29 pm

Shenmue_Legend wrote:
MiTT3NZ wrote: Because it's the kinda decision that can get a lot of people sacked.


And why is that? Does Sega go around firing any employee that's a fan of Shenmue and says something like "I can't take this shit anymore Sega, I'm getting the money and running away with it for Shenmue"?!


Business works differently than "give this relatively small number of consumers what they want".

Shenmue has a history of making little to no profit. It is therefore a gamble. SEGA have a business strategy. Business strategies are essentially philosophies that companies live and die by. Funding Shenmue would be a departure from that.

Say three out of ten believed Shenmue was worth the gamble, they would then have to convince the others (as it would be a game being directly commissioned) The reputation of those three would be at stake. At that level they're not judged on how good a product is, but how much profit is made vs investment (remember that video games are luxury goods)

Even if Shenmue made back 150-200% of its investment, that could be considered a poor return. It's all about fixed, solid figures. Nobody wants to take a backwards step in that sort of environment. You make wise decisions that maximise profit and minimise expenditure.

Say one of those three had previously made similar decisions, they could get voted off. The studio considered not up to task. People lose their jobs. The gamble didn't pay off. The negatives of taking a gamble on Shenmue, considering both the company's and the franchise's history far outweigh the potential benefits.

...oh, and people operating at that level within a game publisher rarely have enough interest in video games to consider themselves a fan. Nor would being a fan interfere with their role at the company. It's a job at a company, not a free pass to do what you like with a bottomless pit of money.

Don't get me wrong, the more money thrown at Shenmue the better, and it'd be nice to see SEGA reappear on the box art and in the game etc, but the actual reality of the situation is far different than the fantasy.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:34 pm

OL wrote: Shenmue is just a proven money sink for them. It technically made them next to nothing in profits with the first two games. Businesses typically run based on the numbers, and the numbers don't work out in Shenmue's favor. Even that 800,000 views is paltry compared to the views that more successful games tend to get.
Shenmue_Legend wrote:I mean, they're worth way over a billion dollars so the amount required to get Shenmue III fully funded should basically be nothing compared to what they're worth, right?

That's not really how things work. That's like saying "Donald Trump is worth however many billions or hundreds of millions... why doesn't he just give me a million dollars? It's like nothing to him. He can afford it."
70 million has never been "basically nothing" to anyone. It doesn't matter how much Sega is worth, 70 million will always be a lot of money. And if they could put that toward more profitable ventures instead, then there's no way they're going to just throw it out there for a brand that previously didn't even break even.
The success of the Kickstarter likewise means nothing. It only proves that the people who put money into it are interested, not that the public as a whole is. Shenmue still isn't a huge name, no matter how well the Kickstarter did.
In another topic you also once said that 50 million would be nothing to Bill Gates, so we should get him to help fund the game. I get the sneaking suspicion you might be slightly naive about these things.


Hmm, good points but Sega had no problem wasting money on the Shenmue Online project years ago. If they can splash money on random Shenmue-related things that no one asked for in the first place, then it's pretty weird why they can't do it for a highly demanded and hyped sequel to two proven masterpieces.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:56 pm

Not necessarily the case with Shenmue Online. It was a pre-existing game that SEGA granted a Shenmue reskin to. They'd invest money, but the return would've been worth it for them as China and South Korea were really getting into their MMOs at the time, and PSO was enjoying success in the East.

It was considered a wise investment, as the company had survived the Dreamcast era and the software-only approach was working. The online market in the East was ripe for the taking. They had sci-fi with PSO, and they wanted the fantasy genre too, with Shenmue being an optimal choice (remember that this deal had been worked out before Shenmue 2X was released)

I'm not sure if it was Japanese stubbornness or a stupid decision to try rebuilding it after the initial developer pulled out, but either way it didn't help Shenmue as a brand in SEGA's eyes. It would've been a noticeable enough loss n'all.

Either way though it was far from wasting money on a Shenmue-related thing and was motivated by identifying an emerging market that had a gap they could fill. That is business.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:10 pm

MiTT3NZ wrote: Not necessarily the case with Shenmue Online. It was a pre-existing game that SEGA granted a Shenmue reskin to. They'd invest money, but the return would've been worth it for them as China and South Korea were really getting into their MMOs at the time, and PSO was enjoying success in the East.

It was considered a wise investment, as the company had survived the Dreamcast era and the software-only approach was working. The online market in the East was ripe for the taking. They had sci-fi with PSO, and they wanted the fantasy genre too, with Shenmue being an optimal choice (remember that this deal had been worked out before Shenmue 2X was released)

I'm not sure if it was Japanese stubbornness or a stupid decision to try rebuilding it after the initial developer pulled out, but either way it didn't help Shenmue as a brand in SEGA's eyes. It would've been a noticeable enough loss n'all.

Either way though it was far from wasting money on a Shenmue-related thing and was motivated by identifying an emerging market that had a gap they could fill. That is business.


Okay, well maybe they can set aside business for once and invest money purely for the fans and for Yu Suzuki. I mean years down the road after Shenmue III is released or when the saga is over, they could regret not saving the series and wonder what could have been if they had stepped in. There's only going to be one chance at a Shenmue III and their involvement may very well make the difference between getting future installments or the saga left without a conclusion once again. And for Shenmue IV and beyond, they probably won't even have to spend any money so this is only a one off. In the grand scheme of things, $50M is nothing. I know what I'm saying isn't likely to happen since Sega have proven to be greedy and quite stubborn but it would be nice if they realised this and acted before it's too late.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:29 pm

Shenmue_Legend wrote:Okay, well maybe they can set aside business for once and invest money purely for the fans and for Yu Suzuki.


It doesn't work like that mate.
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Re: Why isn't Sega funding Shenmue III?

Postby sand4fish » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:31 pm

Shenmue_Legend wrote: I mean, they're worth way over a billion dollars so the amount required to get Shenmue III fully funded should basically be nothing compared to what they're worth, right? I'm confused :?:


Nothing confusing about it. As soon as the name Shenmue was dropped this morning on the investor's board, their share price fluctuated like this:

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