Shenmue III Backers Upset Over Epic Exclusivity to Get Refunds, Funded Stretch Goal Cut

Shenmue III

Earlier this month, the makers of Shenmue III announced the PC version of the game would be an Epic Games Store exclusive, which, shock of shocks, didn’t over very well. Epic exclusivity deals are controversial at the best of times, but Shenmue III is a crowdfunded project that originally promised its backers they could play on Steam, so the move has been particularly contentious. It certainly didn’t help that backers contacting Shenmue III developer Ys Net with their concerns were told they would not be issuing refunds over the Epic exclusivity issue.

Well, that refund policy has been reconsidered. Apparently, the Shenmue III team wanted to still offer Steam keys for backers, but the logistics couldn’t be worked out, and thus, refunds will now be available

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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. […] 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 […] 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 addition to refunds, Shenmue III backers who don’t want to use the Epic launcher can also choose to get a PS4 code instead.

Ys Net has also announced some of the game’s successfully-funded stretch goals either won’t be delivered, or have been altered. Most notably, the “character perspective system” won’t be in the game, and instead of expanding Baisha Village as promised, they’ve instead added a new “Fortified Castle” area. On the flip side, a number of stretch goals that weren’t reached have been added to the game anyways. Here’s the full rundown of which stretch goals will be in the final game…

Shenmue III is scheduled to launch on PC and PS4 on November 19. Any original backers of the game out there? What are you feelings about how Ys Net has handled their promises?

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