PayPal backers frozen out over Shenmue 3 Kickstarter rewards

Shenmue 3

In a Kickstarter update posted in early December 2015, Shenmue 3 developer Ys Net rolled out a poll asking if rewards previously offered as Kickstarter exclusives should also be extended to post-Kickstarter PayPal backers. The studio said it didn't want to break its promise of exclusivity, but decided to put the matter up for a vote after receiving many requests to do so. “Keeping our promise to you is very important to us,” the studio wrote. “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.”

The results of the poll—actually two of them, one just for Kickstarter backers and the other open to the public on Twitter—are now in, and the new isn't good for PayPal supporters. “Considering the strong response from those of you who felt that the Exclusive Rewards should remain exclusive for the Kickstarter, those Exclusive Rewards will not be made available on the PayPal page as originally promised,” Ys Net revealed in the latest Kickstarter update.

As you might expect, that decision has not gone over well with everyone, largely because the “strong response” mentioned in the statement doesn't actually seem to exist. 15,110 Kickstarter backers responded to the poll (out of a total eligibility pool of 68,533) but only 4009 of them voted to keep the rewards exclusive. More people—4670—actually voted to extended the Kickstarter rewards to PayPal backers, while the remaining 6432 respondents opted for, “Either is fine with me.” (Those numbers actually add up to 15,111 respondents, but I don't know where the math mistake is so I'll stick with the ones quoted in the update.)

There's an even greater imbalance in the public Twitter poll that was posted on December 3. A full two-thirds of the 2121 votes cast support extending the Kickstarter rewards to PayPal backers, while just 17 percent are against. That's a decided minority of support for exclusivity among backers and non-backers alike—so where's the “strong response” favoring it?

“We hope everyone will continue to let their voices be heard as we go forward with the project,” Ys Net said in the update. If you're a PayPal backer, I'd recommend doing just that.

Thanks, PCGamesN.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.