Shenmue 3 season pass reportedly won’t be free for Kickstarter backers

The Shenmue 3 season pass reportedly won’t be given to its Kickstarter backers for free. The announcement for Shenmue 3 DLC was one of the many surprises at E3 2019, although it’s not entirely unprecedented for a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to announce additional content at a later date. However, the fans who have put in their hard-earned money for the game — even those who invested hundreds of dollars — won’t be getting the season pass for free.

An email shared on ResetEra shows a response from YS Net to a backer’s inquiry about the Shenmue 3 season pass. Going by this email, it appears that YS Net is saying that people who backed the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign are going to be getting something entirely different from what you or I might get on store shelves.

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Here is the relevant portion of the e-mail regarding the Shenmue 3 season pass:

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.

A season pass is not included.

To be fair to the Shenmue 3 developers, the addition of a season pass after the completion of a campaign is not a super common situation. However, other developers have arguably handled similar situations better. As an example, Pathfinder: Kingmaker gave backers at certain pledge levels the season pass for free after they decided to make additional content.

The lack of a Shenmue 3 season pass is probably upsetting for gamers who backed a hotly-anticipated game. After a shift to one year of Epic Games Store exclusivity and issues with players requesting refunds, it seems like the backers of this thrilling conclusion to a decades-old saga just can’t catch a break.