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Shenmue III

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Ys Net
Release Date: Nov. 19, 2019


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'Shenmue III' (ALL) Slacker Backers Still Getting Rewards Despite Media Rumors

by Adam Pavlacka on Jan. 6, 2016 @ 2:03 p.m. PST

Shenmue III is an Unreal Engine 4-powered, open-world, action/RPG game that continues the legacy of the Shenmue franchise.

Shenmue III will have familiar elements from its predecessors and new fight mechanics to achieve a new level of interactive storytelling. Our ambition is to deliver a Shenmue experience that will draw in newcomers to the series and reward diehard fans with its deep story and rich gameplay.

Where we left off... Ryo Hazuki has made his way to China in search of his father’s killer. There he meets a new traveling companion, Shenhua, and learns of a legend from her village that has foretold their path together. 

The story continues as Ryo and Shenhua start off on a new journey that will take them farther into enemy territory, deeper into mystery, and ever closer to their destiny. 

Will the mystery of the mirrors be revealed? How is Ryo’s father connected to all of this? Will Ryo track down the Chi You Men cartel and face Lan Di in a final showdown?

Yesterday afternoon Polygon published a piece about Shenmue III, claiming that Ys Net had decided not to provide rewards to the Shenmue III “Slacker Backers” who had contributed to the crowdfunding campaign via PayPal.

Polygon reporter Allegra Frank wrote:

"The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign offers backers a plethora of exclusive rewards for contributing, from physical copies of the game in unique cases to specially engraved plaques. None of these gifts, however, will be available to those who donated via PayPal, according to the campaign’s latest update.

Developer Ys Net, headed by series creator Yu Suzuki, put the decision up to a vote. Over the New Year's holiday weekend, Kickstarter backers were given a say on whether rewards would also be granted to those who came on-board during the campaign's second wind, when it opened up the option to donate by PayPal."

Unfortunately, these statements are false. All of the rewards originally promised on the “Slacker Backer” contribution page, including physical copies of the game, are still available. Nothing in the Kickstarter campaign’s latest update states otherwise.

What the campaign did put up to a vote was whether or not specific “Kickstarter Exclusive” rewards, items which have never been available to the “Slacker Backers,” should be added to the “Slacker Backer” page.

Frank also wrote:

"Yet Ys Net interpreted that minority to be a "strong response" in favor of revoking PayPal constituents' access to the campaign incentives. The developer also acknowledged that this contradicts what was originally advertised when the renewed crowdfunding period opened."

Like the previous quotes, this is also an incorrect statement by Polygon’s reporter. As noted above, nothing was “revoked” from the “Slacker Backers” who contributed via PayPal. By keeping the specific “Kickstarter Exclusive” rewards exclusive to Kickstarter, Ys Net is maintaining the status quo. It is providing exactly what was originally advertised when the renewed crowdfunding period opened and, despite Polygon’s claims to the contrary, has not changed anything. Ys Net has also not contradicted its previous statements, nor has it acknowledged any contradiction.

Polygon’s incorrect piece appears to have been picked up by other media as well, with Timothy J. Seppala writing the following for Engadget under the headline “Some ‘Shenmue III’ backers won’t get their rewards after all”:

"On one hand, here's to a video game company actually maintaining the integrity of the word "exclusive" for once. But on the other, the PayPal backers were initially promised access to this stuff -- like a physical copy of the game for PlayStation 4. It's pretty excremental of Ys to deny them that even after poll results indicated that backers largely would be fine with offering the rewards to folks who were late to the party, though. But hey, worse things have happened to people who've backed a game on Kickstarter before."

Seppala appears to simply be rewriting Frank’s conclusion here; unfortunately, just because the words have been rewritten, doesn’t make them any more correct.

Both Frank and Seppala could have simply looked to the original Kickstarter page about the poll for clarification. The Kickstarter states:

"KICKSTARTER REWARDS ON PAYPAL Rewards labeled as “Kickstarter Exclusive” have not been offered on the PayPal site because we felt it was unfair to offer them after the Kickstarter had ended. There have been many requests, however, for certain rewards like the S3 World Telecom to be offered on the PayPal site. We would like everyone to weigh in and tell us what you think. If there is a strong consensus either way, the rewards will either remain as Kickstarter Exclusive, or will be offered on the PayPal site. Keeping our promise to you is very important to us; but at the same time, the PayPal site was set up precisely because fans could not back the Kickstarter and they feel they should not be penalized for that."

In short, the “Kickstarter Exclusive” rewards are remaining exclusive. The “Slacker Backer” rewards are remaining available to PayPal contributors. Nothing has changed and everyone who donated at a specific tier should expect to receive the items that were promised. This includes the PlayStation 4 version of the game.

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