Developer Ys Net has confirmed that backers who helped fund the development of Shenmue III on Kickstarter will not get access to pre-order content.
Instead, anyone who purchased a copy of the game through Kickstarter will have to pay separately to get the content. This includes the pre-order bonuses as well as the extra DLC included with the Deluxe Edition of the game. The studio revealed the information to a backer named Antonio, who posted the response on the game’s Kickstarter page, saying:
Standard and Deluxe versions released through retail sales are not affiliated with the crowdfunding campaign, so will not be included with backer pledges, however, they will be available for sale separately. Kickstarter Backers will receive the Kickstarter version, Slacker Backers will receive the Slacker Backer version. Both have unique content respective to their versions not available in the retail versions.
While not unusual, the lack of additional content in backer copies of games does seem like a shady move. After all, those backers made a pledge to ensure that Ys Net would have a better chance of making Shenmue III. Their reward for pledging is that they will have to pay more to get access to all the content.
Ys Net muddied its relationship with backers last month with the revelation that the PC disc would not contain any game data. Physical editions of the game will instead just launch an installer for the Epic Games Store.
Meanwhile, the announcement that Shenmue III would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store caused an uproar. Epic eventually announced that it would foot the bill for those backers who had opted for a Steam key and now wanted refunds.
Shenmue III is due to release November 19, 2019 for PC and PlayStation 4.