The buying of games to come exclusively to their store launcher has been one of the sticking points for people who criticize Epic Games’ current strategy in the PC market. People against it say it’s bringing console like tactics into an ecosystem that was, more or less, open. Regardless of how you feel about it, that has developed into an ongoing thing for the company in an attempt to bolster their Epic Games Store. The latest game for this to happen to, though, is also causing controversy for a another reason in the situation with Shenmue 3.
Yesterday at the E3 PC Gaming Show, it was announced that Shenmue 3‘s PC version would be an Epic Games Store exclusive. What makes this situation a little different than the usual buyout is that Shenmue 3 was primarily backed by fans with a Kickstarter all the way back in 2015. That entire time, up until yesterday, the PC version was said to be coming to Steam. What happens to fans who backed the game and want it on Steam? It seems they are out of luck.
As happens often with these types of announcements, a lot of people online aren’t too happy about another exclusive. But fans who backed the game have another reason to be unhappy, as those who do not want to support the Epic Games Store are not able to get refunds for their PC version. Below you can see the e-mail that was sent out to backers requesting a refund.
A similar situation happened with Outer Wilds, it too was crowdfunded with a promised Steam version, but was snapped up as an EGS exclusive last minute and backers could not receive a refund. It certainly is a murkier area to wade into than the typical exclusive deal. Either way, Shenmue 3 releases on November 19th for PlayStation 4 And PC (through the Epic Games Store).
Thank you very much for contacting us.
The launch was previously planned for distribution on Steam, however it was decided together with Deep silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option.
Shenmue III will be distributed through the Epic Games Store and will require the Epic Games Store Client to activate.
We apologize for the sudden change in platform, however, refunds will not be granted for this change.
We thank you for your support and look forward to delivering the Shenmue experience fans everywhere have been waiting so long for.
The Shenmue 3 Team”