***Update 1 – 2015-09-18 – 13:08 CEST***
Less than 20 minutes ago I was given the original “slacker backer” email, which were sent out by Ys Net just recently (thanks to Majin-vegeta!). So I have added that mail to this post (as seen down below).
“Hello Everyone, Thanks to your support, Shenmue III became the most funded video game on Kickstarter with 69,320 people helping to bring back the Shenmue series back to life. However, there are so many people told us they could not pledge on Kickstarter, or could not make the deadline, and have asked for a PayPal page for another opportunity to contribute to Shenmue III. So here we go! The Slacker Backer period will continue through December 31st. While the full game will be completed as promised with the use of the funding collected on Kickstarter, any additional funding collected here will go towards reaching the Stretch Goals to make the game even bigger and deeper.
The three month window was set to allow a long enough time to for everyone who wants to support Shenmue III to do so, but short enough to keep the release date on track. The PayPal page will feature a selection of rewards from the Kickstarter campaign including the Trial Version and the Collector’s Edition. If you missed out on the Kickstarter, you still have a chance to be part of the Shenmue legacy! Surveys, add-ons and upgrades Surveys are not quite ready yet, but they will be going out during this Slacker Backer campaign. Once the survey system is up and running, add-ons and upgrades will be available for existing Kickstarter backers. We will of course keep you posted here on the Updates page with all the developments.” – Ys Net
So this might give you (us) a different view on the whole deal with the “slacker backer” campaign. It´s also true that Ys Net originally asked for $10 million via their Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign earlier this summer. I´m sorry that I failed to point this out earlier. My bad. So now you got everything you need in order to form your own opinion on this matter.
It appears as if Yu Suzuki and Ys Net have ended up in big trouble, because even though Ys Net has collected over six million dollars in total for Shenmue 3 on Kickstarter (69,320 people helped to found the project on the 22nd of July). It still seems like that´s not enough money for Ys Net. As they have already asked people for more money (and keep in mind that Sony is also backing up Shenmue 3), by sending out emails about Shenmue 3´s “slacker backer” program (which will run until the end of this year). I don´t know about you guys, but all of this smells really fishy (and greedy) to me. And I´m far from being the only one whom shares those concerns as well. Especially since there´s plenty of ongoing rumors about the big “Kickstarter bubble bust” right now (people have started to call Comcept Inti Creates and Keiji Inafune´s “Mighty No 9” for a Kickstarter scam for example).
Sure, one could argue that Ys Net intends to use that extra “slacker backer” money to fund and add more stretch goals to Shenmue 3. However, here´s the thing. There are NO guaranties whatsoever, that Shenmue 3 will even be finished (nor that Ys Net will deliver what they have promised the backers). So there are some serious trust issues within the Kickstarter and Shenmue community right now, and rightfully so. As people want to know what´s going on with their hard-earned money. And not to sound negative, but Shenmue 3 is said to be released in December 2017 (that´s about +2 years away from now). So that means that Ys Net “theoretically” can milk people out of their money for another two years plus. You get my point? It feels like people are throwing down money into a black hole to be honest. And like i´ve pointed out before, Yu Suzuki has had major problems in past when it comes to staying within the projects budget walls (not to exceed the maximum budget given for the project in question). Don´t get me wrong. I love the Shenmue series just as much as any other fan out there. And I respect mr Yu Suzuki, but “maybe” Ys Net (and Suzuki) has gone to far this time?
I should also point out that those who pledge via the “slacker backer” (via Paypal) campaign has zero to none consumer protection laws to fall back on “if” something goes wrong along the way (not even the thin Kickstarter protection applies to the slacker backers). In other words, you´re taking one hell of a gamble by backing Shenmue 3 as a slacker backer. Not only that, but the release date of Shenmue 3 might change as well (so the 2017 December release might get pushed into Oblivion for all we know), at least that´s the vibes that I felt when I read the following statement by Ys Net:
“A rigorous budget and schedule has been worked out with our production team and we believe our target of 2017 holiday season is within reach,”
“That said, our goal is to make the best game possible (and one that the fans want!) so please understand the schedule may change as the project evolves.” – Ys Net
So no wonder why fans and backers got really angry when they found out about this, thus comments such as this:
“I’m sorry but as of now this and might No 9 can both f off. I’m glad I never backed theses scams” – TrueAssassin86x
“Walking a real thin line now… Kickstarters have been having a lot of issues as of late. I doubt people will be pleased to hear this.Sony should really consider just buying the franchise and locking it up as an exclusive. This is going to get messy…” – The_Penultimate_Spaz
“This is how things spiral out of control. They need more money to complete the base game. As more people put more money towards this, they promise more content. It’s going to bloat the project and create nothing but problems. I can’t fathom why these companies don’t figure out the total cost required to create their MVP and then expand as necessary!” – The Duchess
“I’m so confused by all of this. First we were told that it was a kickstarter only game. Then Sony came out and said they’re actually backing the game. Now Ys is making a secondary startup to beg for even more. WTF is going on? Either Sony is not giving them enough money for the project, which seems strange cause Sony backed games usually get good support, or they’re just trying to scam more money. This whole thing just seems like a huge mess.” – Captain Squirrel
With that said, what do you guys and girls think about all of this? Will Shenmue 3 even be released? And will the Kickstarter bubble finally burst? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
More by Robin Ek:
Save 3$ with our Play-Asia coupon code "thegg"