It looks like Shenmue 3 may never make it onto the shelves of your local game shop.
This might initially be a bit confusing, and your first thought (like mine) might be “hold on, didn’t they confirm a phsyical version?” And yes, they did – but it seems it might end up being a Kickstarter backer reward only.
Ys Net issued a statement to press, saying “Whether Shenmue 3 will be available for retail or not is currently unconfirmed.”
They did go on to say that any new information regarding the availability of Shenmue through in phsyical form for either the PS4 or PC would be released on Kickstarter, but unfortunately didn’t give a rough time frame.
Obviously, it will be available digitally on both platforms, but currently a rather large question mark hangs over the physical release. The fact that it’s even up for debate is rather strange, and it just another twist in the increasingly strange tale of Shenmue 3’s development. With Sony reportedly handling the marketing and distribution, it could be that they want to skimp on the public release of a physical version to save on costs. Seems odd given the insane success of the Kickstarter, especially since the physical version on Kickstarter requires a $60 investment. Yes, that is what you would pay at retail, but for someone unsure of, or unexperienced with crowdfunding, it’s a lot to ask.
Fingers crossed we will get a resolution on this soon.