Last weekend, it was brought to our attention that UK-based backers of the recent The Wonderful 101 Kickstarter campaign had been hit with import fees of around £17, an extra cost that fans weren't aware of when backing the project. It seems that only the UK has been impacted, all thanks to a strange decision on Platinum's part to ship copies from Japan to the US, and then onto the UK from there.
As you can imagine, backers haven't been best pleased to hear of the additional charge - not only could they have picked up a physical copy at retail in the UK for significantly less, but the customs issues have also caused deliveries to be delayed long beyond the game's official release date.
Now, in a new update sent out to backers of the campaign, PlatinumGames has addressed the issue. It says that while the team is "sorry for the additional charges", it had warned backers about potential costs in its FAQ.
"A number of our UK backers have informed us that they’ve had additional taxes applied when receiving their packages. Although possible methods of alleviating this were considered, the tariff duties for different countries can be very strict and we made sure to comply with all corresponding legal restrictions. We are sorry for the additional charges, but it is clearly stated in the FAQ on the Kickstarter page that all physical rewards are shipped out from the United States, and that any applicable VAT or regional tariffs would be paid by backers."
However, backers don't believe this to be the case. In the replies to Platinum's update, which can only be viewed by those who pledged to the campaign, fans have highlighted that this particular piece of info was only added to the Kickstarter campaign's FAQ section on 12th February, more than a week after the campaign launched and long after many had already pledged their support.
As you might expect, some backers are now asking for compensation and are threatening to avoid buying any PlatinumGames products in the future. It makes you wonder why Platinum opted to go through Kickstarter at all, especially considering it didn't even need to use the platform to generate funds.
We'll keep an eye on the situation as it unfolds and make sure to update you if we hear more.