Shenmue 3 Dev Details PC Rollout, And It's Messy
Stretch goals have also changed.
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Ys Net, developer of Shenmue III, has detailed how the PC version of the game will be delivered and addressed the controversial switch to Epic Games Store exclusivity. In a post on the game's Kickstarter page the developer said although it had originally planned to distribute Shenmue III for PC through Valve's Steam service, Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver agreed to a partnership with Epic Games.
Although the statement doesn't provide clarity on the reasoning behind this decision, it does say that Deep Silver "contributed not only to sales and marketing, but to scaling up the game so there is more Shenmue III to begin with," while Epic Games has offered its support throughout the development process.
This is unlikely to be much of a comfort to people that supported Ys Net's crowdfunding campaign with the understanding that they'd eventually be able to play the game on Steam. However, playing on Steam won't be possible on launch day.
"In response to backers who have requested Steam keys for their rewards, we discussed offering the keys on the day of release," Ys Net said. "However, coordination with the sales policies of the involved companies was untenable, and as a result, we are not able to make a day one distribution option for Steam keys available.
"That we are not able to offer Steam keys for Kickstarter rewards at the time of the game's release is a great [disappointment] and inconvenience for those backers who were expecting to receive them. We deeply apologize for the unrest caused by the announcement."
At launch, the available options for Kickstarter backers include a PC physical package, a digital key, a PS4 disc, or a PSN voucher code. However, the disk in the PC physical version of the game does not contain the game data and instead just includes the Epic Games Store installer. If you previously selected PC as the preferred platform, you have the option to switch to PS4--or vice verse if you so choose. Those that opt for the PC versions have "an option to also receive a Steam key one year later," though you'll need to manually select this option in the survey.
Backers can choose to refund their contribution and Ys Net, Deep Silver, and Epic Games have agreed to honor these requests. Details regarding the refund request process will be announced in the future, but one thing Ys Net notes is that rewards attached to certain backer tiers that have resulted in content being produced and added to the game may not be refundable.
Epic is funding the cost of all Kickstarter refunds resulting from Shenmue III’s move to the Epic Games store, so that refunds won’t reduce Ys Net’s development funding. https://t.co/mSGdbzYPJ5— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 2, 2019
The Kickstarter update also states that some stretch goals that were reached during the crowdfunding campaign could not be implemented--despite reaching the funding milestone set out for their inclusion. However, some features attached to stretch goals that were not successfully funded have been added to the game.
"Development began in line with the stretch goal content, but with the addition of sales partners during production, we were able to increase our development budget," Ys Net explained. "In order to maximize game quality under the adjusted budget, game planning was fundamentally altered and ultimately allowed us to incorporate a number of different elements beyond our original expectations."
An overview of the key changes to the stretch goals can be seen in the list below, but you can head over to the Kickstarter page for a more detailed breakdown:
- Character Perspective System: Funded but not implemented as it could not be achieved in this game.
- Skill Tree System: Funded but changed to a Skill Book System to better fit the battling style
- Baisha Area changed: Funded but changed to Fortified Castle area. Mini-games, infiltration event, battle event, investigation, and battle event have been implemented in the Fortified Castle area.
- Choubu Area: Not funded but the area has been expanded with four mini-games, four betting games, kung-fu mastery, part-time job added.
- Bailu Village: Not funded but the area has been expanded with four mini-games, betting games, and kung-fu mastery.
- Non-Stretch Goal Additions: Story improvements, scaled up free-roaming environments, powered up battle systems, game cycle improvements.
Shenmue III's release date is set for November 19. In 2015, over 69,000 people contributed $6.3 million to fund the development of Shenmue III on Kickstarter. Deep Silver later came aboard as a publisher.
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