After YS Net and Deep Silver announced that Shenmue 3 was an Epic Games Store exclusive (for a year) after promising Steam keys to backers, controversy broke out. When legal threats and demands for refunds popped up, Epic, YS Net and Deep Silver vowed to detail how to become eligible for a refund, with Epic reportedly footing the bill for the refunds, according to Engadget. In the meantime, the ESRB has rated the upcoming action-adventure game for PC and PS4.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board, best known as the ESRB, has rated Shenmue 3 on esrb.org. The game set to hit PC via the Epic Games Store and PS4 in November has a rating of “T” for “Teen” containing mild language, mild suggestive themes, simulated gambling, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence.
“Content Descriptors: Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence.”
The summary for Shenmue 3 dives into how the game has violent scenes and other segments related to gambling and the use of mild language. It also stresses how some female characters “wear outfits with low cut tops that reveal large amounts of cleavage,” which could be a reference to the character Joy. Additionally, the summary makes mention of dialogue and text also referring to “suggestive material”:
“Rating Summary: This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of a teenage jujitsu artist (Ryo Hazuki) as attempts to find his father’s killer. As players traverse fictional Chinese villages and towns, they interact with characters and engage in barehanded street fighting against enemy thugs and gang members. Players use punches, kicks, and throws to defeat enemies; fights are accompanied by impact sounds and cries of pain. Some female characters wear outfits with low cut tops that reveal large amounts of cleavage; dialogue and text also reference suggestive material (e.g., “I pray my hubby gains some pep to his step…in bed”; “Whoa, check out the pair on that one”; “The scumbags trying to extort money from any shop owner with boobs.”). As players progress through the game, they can wager in-game currency on dice games, animal races, and roulette-style games. Several characters can be seen smoking cigarettes and drinking from beer bottles and jugs of wine. The word “a*s,” “b*tch,” and “pr*ck” are heard in the game.”
After a long controversial moment of YS Net and Deep Silver denying refunds to assessing the situation, and the whole storefront bait-and-switch debacle, it’s hard to tell if people will stick around and play the Epic Games Store version, wait a year for the Steam edition, or walk away from the “T” rated game?
Anyway, Shenmue 3 is set to hit the Epic Games Store and PS4 on November 19th, 2019, while the Steam version is slated to drop sometime in November 2020.