Ys Net has responded to fans following the outrage and controversy surrounding their announcement that the long-awaited Shenmue III would be an Epic Games Store exclusive on the PC platform.
In a new Kickstarter update, the first since the team indicated that they were aware of fan concerns, Ys Net confirmed that the game would remain an Epic Games Store exclusive for one year and apologized to fans that expected to receive a Steam key on release:
“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, YSNET and Deep Silver agreed to our partnership with Epic Games Store on PC version distribution. As a publishing partner, Deep Silver has greatly contributed not only to sales and marketing, but to scaling up the game so there is more Shenmue III to begin with. Also, Epic Games has been with us from the start of the project when we adopted Unreal Engine 4 for development, and have given us their support throughout the development process.
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.”
Thankfully, in a reversal of their original stance, Ys Net also announced that they would be honoring refund requests:
“Along with Deep Silver and Epic Games, we have agreed that should the above proposal not be acceptable to backers, refund requests will be honored.
Details concerning the refund request process will be announced in a following update. We ask for your patience until that time.
*In the case rewards within your reward tier, such as in-game content, have already been created and implemented, a full refund may not be possible.”
The update also included a passing note of extremely bizarre detail: the PC physical release of Shenmue III would provide customers with a disc that solely features an installer for the Epic Games Store:
“The PC Physical version will be delivered on disk. However, the disk will contain the Epic Games Store installer and not the actual game data.”