Despite many fans expressing their disappointment that the game would not be coming to Steam as originally expected, Ys Net has said that while it’s apologetic about the change in direction, “refunds will not be granted”.
VGC has contacted Epic and Deep Silver for a formal statement. In the meantime, this response was sent to backers who requested refunds after learning the game would be exclusive to the Epic Games store:
“The launch was previously planned for distribution on Steam, however, it was decided together with Deep Silver after much discussion that the Epic Game Store would be the best distribution platform option.
“Shenmue III will be distributed through the Epic Game Store and will require the Epic Game Store client to activate.
“We apologise 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 statement concluded.
“I backed Shenmue 3 for $1,500 and have spent the last few years trying to stay positive,” added another unhappy backer. “It’s no exaggeration when I say Shenmue 3 is the game I’ve waited for nearly my entire life […] My faith in Yu Suzuki is the only thing that’s carried me for four years, but I fear he’s surrounded by people who don’t have his best interests in mind and that he couldn’t afford the talent to make a proper Shenmue 3. I hope I’m wrong.”
Developer Ys Net said yesterday on the game’s Kickstarter page: “We are happy to announce that Shenmue III for PC will be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Development for Shenmue III has been moving forward using Unreal Engine and the support we have received from Epic has been excellent.
“But most importantly, in looking for the most enjoyable experience on PC, it was decided together with [publisher] Deep Silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option.”
Shenmue III was first announced at PlayStation’s E3 press conference in 2015. Later that year it raised $6,333,295 via Kickstarter, breaking world records in the process. Since then the original 2017 release has been pushed back several times, most recently to November 2019.