It looks like Ys Net, Deep Silver, and Epic Games “assessed” the Shenmue 3 situation regarding the title’s exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store after promotional material showcased a Steam release, and now refunds will be announced at a later date as well as Steam keys to ship sometime in 2020.
After a long controversial moment of “denying refunds” to “assessing the situation,” which is best known as the Shenmue 3 and Epic Store debacle, it seems as if there is a way for trapped and unpleased backers to get out of the bait-and-switch situation.
Firstly, not that it means much now, YS Net issued out an apology letter to gamers and fans alike. You can read the writeup on the game’s Kickstarter page right here:
Regarding the recently announced Epic Games Store exclusive, all of us here at YSNET, Deep Silver and Epic are taking the matter with utmost concern and would like to clarify the circumstances leading to the decision and offer backers options for moving forward.
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.
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.”
That’s correct, just like Metro: Exodus, Shenmue 3 will hit the Epic Games Store first this November and will hit Steam sometime during next year’s November. In other words, it’s the same one-year exclusive deal that Epic pulls with anything it snatches up.
Moreover, backers who wish to get out of this joke of a Kickstarter run can do so sometime in the foreseeable future. However, no date and time are up yet according to YS Net, where details on refunding the game will come up in the next update.
Anyway, here’s the notice that YS Net issued out regarding the much-requested refund option:
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.”
Given that backers have to wait on refund details and in cases where there are backer reward tiers, such as in-game content, that have already been created and implemented, a full refund may not be possible. To phrase things in layman terms, don’t hold your breath on this refund to be a smooth or clean transaction.
You can read the full post on kickstarter.com to learn all things Shenmue 3 and the assessment that Ys Net, Deep Silver, and Epic Games have made. And lastly, the third installment in the series will become available on the Epic Games Store and PS4 on November 27th, 2019, while the Steam version is slated to drop sometime in November 2020.