Shenmue III will go Epic exclusive after being Kickstarted with a Steam release, and now they’re refusing to give backers their money back.
It’s Metro Exodus all over again. Shenmue III, locked in a long development since its successful Kickstarter campaign way back in 2015, has suddenly signed on to be an Epic Games Store exclusive title when it eventually releases. Whenever that is.
The news broke at this year’s E3 conference along with a news update on the Shenmue III Kickstarter page.
"Development for Shenmue III has been moving forward using Unreal Engine and the support we have received from Epic has been excellent,” wrote the developer. “But most importantly, in looking for the most enjoyable experience on PC, it was decided together with Deep Silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option."
Shenmue III was initially promised to launch on all major consoles and on PC via Steam. The Kickstarter update directs backers to contact Deep Silver support, but according to a recent Reddit post, Deep Silver is refusing to offer angry backers their money back.
A post from Reddit user mirta000 includes several screenshots of the response provided by Deep Silver customer service reps. "We apologize for the sudden change in platform,” one screenshot shows, “however, refunds will not be granted for this change."
A screenshot from Kickstarter reveals that they, too, will not be able to offer refunds as the campaign cash has already gone to Deep Silver.
As with Metro Exodus, gamers that backed Shenmue III expecting a Steam key on its eventual release are furious at the move to Epic exclusivity. The Reddit thread revealing the change is awash with angry comments against Epic, and the Kickstarter update has been inundated with backers demanding their money returned.
One Steam Community thread is even suggesting a class-action lawsuit against Deep Silver, although the Shenmue III FAQ page seems to indicate this will be a timed exclusive and the game will still eventually release on Steam.
The news of Epic exclusivity unfortunately seems to have overshadowed Shenmue III’s E3 update, which includes a new trailer, tentative system requirements, and recently opened pre-order pages. Shenmue III releases on PlayStation 4 and Epic Games Store on November 18th.