Bloodstained vs. Shenmue 3: A Tale of Two Kickstarters (2 Podcasts)

July 4, 2015Written by Heath Hindman


Recently, we’ve seen several big-name developers take to crowdfunding to fuel their comebacks. We recorded a pair of podcasts diving deep into analyzing two of them, and invite you to take a listen. Or not. I mean, I can’t force you (legally).

The first was recorded while Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was marching onward. We look at what was making it successful (it’s far more than just the name) and examine the “Metroidvania” genre as a whole.

In the next, we jumped headfirst into Shenmue 3, which came out with guns blazing, but has since slowed down quite a bit. We discuss the justified confusion and completely unjustified controversy about Sony marketing fundage.

Check it out streaming with either YouTube or Soundcloud. The latter also offers a download option, if you’d like an MP3. So here’s this:

And this:

Its table of contents:

00:00 – Intro
01:31 – Metroids and Castlevanias
03:49 – Games that grow more famous (and expensive) with time
08:15 – On the “Metroidvania” moniker
12:35 – The difference between Metroidvanias and plain ol’ action-platformers
17:15 – Games miscategorized as Metroidvanias
20:43 – Deep look at the Bloodstained Kickstarter’s marketing machine
28:37 – Molyneux vs. Igarashi: Skepticism over rock-star developers
34:17 – Informationless hype
37:54 – Super Metroid sure was great!
41:27 – Metroid Fusion and breaking the illusion of freedom
47:31 – Outro

The Shenmue 3 episode, which got a lot of attention thanks to Janelle giving great details on the company running Shenmue 3‘s Kickstarter, can be streamed likewise. Here’s the YouTube version for people who prefer that:

And the Soundcloud version for fans who like that more and/or want an MP3 download:

And its contents:

00:00 – Intro
02:04  – Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Close-up
02:44 – Defining stretch goals before development is hard
04:33 – Fan-centered language in Kickstarters
08:03 – The ambiguity of “True Open World”
12:07 – Shenmue 3 PR gaffes and Hanlon’s Razor
14:42 – Awesome Japan’s Kickstarter management history
22:09 – Awesome Japan lacks the native English speakers to handle a project this size
25:26 – Initial Kickstarter Goals: Large vs small
27:53 – School For Babies Who Don’t Read Things: Kickstarter Edition
29:55 – Kickstarter is not always the only source of funding, and that’s OK!
33:20 – The Oxford dictionary defines “kickstart” as…
35:57 – Game companies are not swimming in money
38:56 – The staving artist/sellout false dichotomy
41:30 – Writers fanning controversy
44:10 – The dangerous precedent of demanding financial details
47:46 – Hopes for Shenmue 3

Since we’ve talked about these two games and their very different Kickstarter campaigns, we’ll soon be delving into exactly what set Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Shenmue apart from the crowd in the first place.

Thank you for listening.