Last month, it was announced that the highly anticipated Shenmue III would become an Epic Games Store exclusive for one year upon its launch on PC later this year. This resulted in fan backlash due to the promised ability to receive a Steam key for the game when fans pledged to the Kickstarter campaign. This resulted in Ys Net and Deep Silver offering those fans two options: get the game via the Epic Games Store or change to the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
According to the game’s latest Kickstarter update, Ys Net, Deep Silver, and Epic Games had “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.” Instead, they have announced that those fans that requested a Steam key for the game will be eligible for refunds. However, the process to request a refund hasn’t been detailed yet, but it was promised that details would be coming in the next update. There is also a caveat that a full refund may not be possible due to “rewards within your reward tier, such as in-game content, have already been created and implemented.”
After this announcement, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took to Twitter to announce that the company would be covering all the refunds that are requested for Shenmue III. This is to avoid refunds eating into Ys Net’s development funds. Then, it came out that Epic Games will cover all refunds for crowdfunded games that become exclusive to the Epic Games Store.
Epic is funding the cost of all Kickstarter refunds resulting from Shenmue III’s move to the Epic Games store, so that refunds won’t reduce Ys Net’s development funding. https://t.co/mSGdbzYPJ5
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 2, 2019
Shenmue III will release on PC and PlayStation 4 on November 19, 2019.