“We are happy to announce that Shenmue III for PC will be will be an Epic Games Store exclusive,” said developer Ys Net. “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.”
According to PC Gamer, the Kickstarter campaign has never promised a Steam release for the game, only that backers can choose a “Windows PC” version. However, its system requirements have frequently referenced requiring Steam, even as recently as in a June 4 Kickstarter community update. The game also still has its own Steam product page.
A new Shenmue III gameplay trailer released today, which you can view above, closes with the PS4 and Epic Games store logos.
VGC has contacted Epic and Deep Silver to ask if the game is a timed or permanent Epic Games store exclusive.