Developer YS Net and publisher Deep Silver have announced that they will offer refunds to those Kickstarter backers of Shenmue 3 on PC who object to the game’s Epic Games Store exclusivity.
Three weeks ago, YS Net and Deep Silver announced that on PC, Shenmue 3 would be an Epic Games Store exclusive, despite the game’s Kickstarter campaign (which ran before the Epic Games Store was up and running) promising availability on Steam. That announcement led to a backlash among backers of the game who would prefer to play it via Steam.
Now, in a post on Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter page, the two companies have said: “As noted in the updates and survey at launch, we had originally planned for PC distribution through Steam. Taking publishing and sales considerations into account, YS Net and Deep Silver agreed to our partnership with Epic Games Store on PC version distribution.
“In response to backers who have requested Steam keys for their rewards, we discussed offering the keys on the day of release. However, coordination with the sales policies of the involved companies was untenable, and as a result we are not able to make a day one distribution option for Steam keys available. That we are not able to offer Steam keys for Kickstarter rewards at the time of the game’s release is a great disappointed and inconvenience for those backers who were expecting to receive them. We deeply apologize for the unrest caused by the announcement.
“Along with Deep Silver and Epic Games, we have agreed that should the above proposal not be acceptable to backers, refund requests will be honoured. Details concerning the refund request process will be announced in a following update. We ask for your patience until that time.”
Since the Epic Games Store launched in December 2018, it has caused controversy among gamers loyal to Valve’s Steam platform, but has attracted a steady stream of exclusive games from developers and publishers, due to its far more advantageous revenue split in comparison with Steam.
As YS Net and Deep Silver stated, details of how Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter backers can receive a refund, should they object to the game’s exclusive presence on the Epic Games Store, will follow. Those details will undoubtedly be posted on the game’s Kickstarter page, and you might also want to keep an eye on the game’s website. Yu Suzuki’s long-awaited RPG is due to be released on 19 November 2019, for PC and PlayStation 4.