The final portion of Shenmue III's crowdfunding campaign is currently underway, after which the game's development budget will be set in stone. Though we are all delighted with the progress being made by Ys Net in these early stages, opportunities to expand the scope of such an important title don't come along often.
Therefore, to help make the most of this last big chance, dedicated fans pooled their most treasured resources together with First 4 Figures to donate some extraordinary prizes for an unmissable contest that we called the Winning Can Raffle!
In short, here's what was on offer:
- Exclusive edition Lan Di statue directly from the workshop of First 4 Figures
- Standard edition Ryo Hazuki statue signed and personalized by voice actor Corey Marshall
- Limited edition Japanese copy of the original Shenmue for Dreamcast, complete with Jukebox CD, signed by Yu Suzuki
- Limited edition Japanese copy of Shenmue II for Dreamcast, sealed and VGA Gold graded
- Translucent blue Shenmue soundtrack LP, signed and personalized by Corey Marshall
- Rare promo stickers from the Shenmue Premiere in Japan
- Official Shenmue T-shirt from the Tokyo Game Show 2015 (size M)
Plus: ALL entrants received a bonus Shenmue themed decal just for taking part!
This was the biggest prize haul ever assembled for a Shenmue competition, and anyone could have been a winner by just participating in the Slacker Backer campaign at any of the following levels and forwarding their PayPal receipt(s) by email:
|Physical Copy tier or combined equivalent||= 1 ticket||($60 per ticket)|
|Trial Version tier or combined equivalent||= 2 tickets||($50 per ticket)|
|Toy Capsules tier or combined equivalent||= 3 tickets||($40 per ticket)|
|Bonus Pack tier or combined equivalent||= 5 tickets||($32 per ticket)|
Remember, the game's supporters will already receive awesome rewards from Ys Net for backing at these tiers. Raffle tickets and decals were just icing on an already delicious cake, but if any of their tickets won a prize, it was like getting a whole extra cake!
There were two deadlines for entries:
December 3rd - Three tickets were randomly drawn from the entries received up to and including this date. The first won the T-shirt from TGS, the second won the promo stickers from the Shenmue Premiere, and the third won the signed and personalized LP. The results of these three draws were announced in the video below, and all entries received then rolled over into the next draws for more chances to win.
February 3rd - Four more tickets were randomly drawn from all entries received before the closure of the Slacker Backer campaign, including those received before the previous draws (so if you'd entered before the December 3rd deadline, you were eligible for ALL SEVEN draws). The first winner drawn after the final deadline would win the signed and personalized Ryo Hazuki statue, the second would win the Japanese Limited Edition Shenmue II, the third would win the signed Japanese Limited Edition Shenmue, and the fourth would win the new Exclusive edition Lan Di statue from First 4 Figures. The results of these four draws were announced following the #SaveShenmueHD Tweetathon taking place on deadline day.
Both deadline dates were defined as ending at midnight UTC-1200, which in most cases would be later than in entrants' local time zone. So if they thought they'd missed the deadline by a few hours, fans were encouraged to check the converter as they may still have been in luck.
Tickets were returned to the mix for all subsequent draws, so winning the T-shirt for example would not prohibit the same ticket from also winning the LP, or a statue. All entrants would be contacted by email reply to advise on delivery details for prizes and bonus decals.
Team Yu staff and those contributing the prizes were not eligible to enter. Dammit.
The Winning Can Raffle was the biggest contest we'd ever held, as any one of these prizes could have warranted a contest all of its own. That's how important it is to the fans that Shenmue III's development receives as much extra funding as possible before the end of the Slacker Backer campaign. The raffle was not affiliated with Ys Net or any of its partners; this was a fan community effort to support the game we all love, and we invited all gamers to seize this unique opportunity with both hands.
Take a more detailed look at the prizes that were won:
Pre-orders for the new Lan Di statue from First 4 Figures have only just begun, with the Exclusive edition available for only the first two weeks. But if you miss out then fear not, as First 4 Figures will allow your disappointment to die like a warrior if you win the stunning prize they've donated to the Winning Can Raffle. You won't have to wait until Shenmue III's release to get your hands on the most elusive villain in gaming history, as Lan Di will be ready to ship in the second quarter of 2016.
One of the most coveted items of licensed Shenmue merchandise remains the Ryo Hazuki statue, and you could be in possession of one that's even more exclusive when Ryo's English language voice actor Corey Marshall signs and personalizes this prize just for you. This statue is being donated by Matthew Kilpatrick, a pioneer in the Shenmue hacking and modding community (known in such circles as LanDC) and already a huge contributor to the Shenmue III crowdfunding campaign. Parting with this boxed statue is like parting with a limb for Matthew, but as you'll discover further down the page, it's not all he's contributing to the raffle.
As the name suggests, a Japanese Limited Edition copy of Shenmue for Dreamcast is a rare thing to find, especially sixteen years after release and with the Jukebox soundtrack CD included. But to own a copy autographed by Yu Suzuki himself, the legendary games designer who is arguably now defined by his commitment to this series? That's got to be worth its weight in gold to any fan, including the man who got it signed when he met Suzuki-san, David De ville. But even more valuable to David is the chance to see Shenmue III become the best it can be, and so this remarkable item somehow finds its way into the Winning Can Raffle to assist with the crowdfunding effort. Will you let it slip through your fingers, or catch it like a leaf?
To find a mint Japanese Limited Edition copy of Shenmue II in its original seal and enclosed in a protective case by the Video Game Authority with a VGA Gold grading of 90, you would surely have to hunt down Peter Campbell. But we didn't have to, as Peter has stepped forward to donate this prized possession to the Winning Can Raffle. Peter's contributions to the Shenmue III crowdfunding campaign have already been well documented, and now you can benefit directly from his continued... well, let's call it what it is: insanity. Collectors around the world will be foaming at the mouth, trying to comprehend how anybody could just give away an item of this rarity, but ours is not to reason why. Ours is just to shove this into your hands and tell you to RUN before he comes to his senses and changes his mind.
One of the most magical things about Shenmue is its soundtrack, from incidental tunes that tug on the heart strings, to sweeping epics that conjur vivid imagery of Ryo's courageous journey into the unknown. Earlier this year some of the finest tracks from the original CD album were remastered for their best possible audio quality on a brand new vinyl release. The record was produced in multiple versions, including a beautiful translucent blue effect, and now thanks to Matthew Kilpatrick and Corey Marshall, you can become the proud owner of a copy that will be signed and personalized by Ryo's English language voice actor. If you don't have a record player, then just imagine how amazing this will look on your wall, as perhaps the only record that Shenmue hasn't broken this year.
It's no secret that Shenmue had an immense budget back in the '90s, and one of many contributing factors to this was an extravagant series of Shenmue Premiere events held across Japan in anticipation of the game's launch. Attendees were issued with exclusive memorabilia to mark the occasion, and over a decade and a half later these rare promo stickers have survived as a timely souvenir of that turning point in video game history. Donated by Matthew Kilpatrick to the Winning Can Raffle, these stickers can be yours to carefully preserve or put to the use for which they were designed. Will the choice weigh heavily, or will your mind be as clear as a polished mirror?
It was during this past September's Tokyo Game Show that the Slacker Backer campaign for Shenmue III was launched, so it's only fitting that this official Shenmue T-shirt from the event be included in the raffle to aid the campaign. David De ville picked it up whilst there to interview Yu Suzuki, and now it's available to win, brand new and sealed, for the Medium-sized person in your life. Clothes may not make the man, but they do help identify the hardcore fan.
As if the chance to win the great prizes above was not motivation enough, all entrants in the Winning Can Raffle will receive a free decal bearing either a famous line from the Shenmue series, or, if you're one of the lucky few, an actual winning can design to celebrate this fusion between a franchise and its fans. Thanks to Shenmue 500K community lead Aaron "Shenmue Stare" Barstow for organizing this cool bonus!
Remember, all fans needed to do was participate in the Shenmue III Slacker Backer campaign at any of the tiers listed above and forward their PayPal receipt(s) by email before the relevant deadline to receive their decal and be entered into these draws. For any Shenmue fan this prize pool was an absolute goldmine, so whatever they did, they were urged not to miss out. For a little extra support towards Shenmue III's development, they could have been walking away with an item they'd cherish for many years after the game's release - on top of the great backer rewards they're guaranteed from Ys Net!
Thanks to all who made the Winning Can Raffle possible, and a huge thanks to YOU for entering. Congratulations to the winners!!!