Earlier this summer, Shenmue III developer Ys Net announced that people who backed their Kickstarter would be able to request a refund, following backlash against their previous announcement that Shenmue III would be an Epic Games Store exclusive for one year upon its PC launch this year. Fans were frustrated because the Kickstarter campaign promised a Steam key for its backers. Instead, they were left with the choice of getting the game via the Epic Games Store or getting the game for the PlayStation 4.
Two months after the refund announcement, Ys Net has updated the Shenmue III Kickstarter with a survey, through which backers can request refunds if they “had selected a PC version and are not satisfied with the proposed reward options.” Anyone who wants to exercise this option, however, only has two weeks to do so, as the survey will only be available for that amount of time. The survey is the only way Kickstarter backers can receive a refund; after the two-week-window ends, no one else can request a refund. Additionally, processing the refunds can take anywhere from 20 days to three months, since the Kickstarter campaign is four years old.
Epic Games launched their digital storefront last December and has already seen its share of exclusive titles, such as TellTale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season and The Division 2. Epic Games Store didn’t exist when Shenmue III was first announced for Steam and PS4 during E3 2015. Epic Games has stated it will cover all the refunds for Shenmue III Kickstarter backers, in addition to refunds for all other crowdfunded games that became Epic Games Store exclusives.
Shenmue III is set to release on PC and PS4 on November 19, 2019. Though it will only be available through the Epic Games Store for PC for a year, it is still expected to come to Steam next year.