There is no doubt that the cult following for the originally-Dreamcast-exclusive Shenmue series is off the charts. Often revered as the pioneer of the modern open world 3D RPG, the rocky production of the third installment has left fans pining for more. After announcing the Kickstarter campaign to get the game independently produced by series creator Yu Suzuki at E3 2015, the internet friggin' exploded with excitement as their wallets collectively flew out and slapped to their computer screens. The project hit the ground running so fast that it shattered two huge world records for crowd funding by exponential amounts.
The Shenmue III project won the award for Fastest $1 Million Pleged for a Crowdfunded Video Game at 1 hour and 44 minutes. The previous record holder was the Banjo-Kazooie inspired 3D platformer, Yooka-Laylee at 5 hours and 55 minutes.
The second award received was Most Money Pledged for a Kickstarter Video Game, with roughly $6.3 Million raised. The previous record holder was Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night at $5.5 Million. The Guinness World Records recently posted on their site pictures of Suzuki receiving his awards, along with a short interview on why he thought the game was so well received.
The game has universal themes like family, love and romance … that is why people can empathize. This is a heavy responsibility … because this game is now supported, literally, by fans. It is better for me to find an original way and an individual creation [because this] draws more attention ... I love challenging creation.
Source: Guinness World Records