Shenmue 3 was announced back in 2015 at E3 by PlayStation. It was also announced that people could help support the game’s release by backing it on Kickstarter. While it is rare to hear triple-A games have Kickstarters, the series hadn’t finished their story for over 15 years. Shenmue 2 release back in 2001 for the Sega Dreamcast and the game ended on a cliffhanger for the next in the series. The game had a niche audience and the Dreamcast wasn’t as popular as the PlayStation One or the Nintendo 64 that were out at the time. The opportunity to help finance the 3rd game that fans so desperately wanted was exciting for them. However, this past E3 shocked and angered some fans as it was revealed that Shenmue 3 would release exclusively on the PC through the Epic Store.
Why are fans mad?
Many fans who backed the game were expecting to download the game via Steam. It was the promised distribution service when the game was announced. The change to the Epic Store was quite surprising and last minute considering the game will finally launch this year. The Epic Store is infamous for lack of security log-ins, poor interface, and their launching games exclusively on their system (Which PC never had the issue before). Not only that, the developers stated they will not refund backers who paid for the PC version of the game. Surprisingly, Epic is coming to the rescue.
Epic is funding the cost of all Kickstarter refunds resulting from Shenmue III’s move to the Epic Games store, so that refunds won’t reduce Ys Net’s development funding. https://t.co/mSGdbzYPJ5
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 2, 2019
Refunds from Epic
Epic Games has so much money, they are actually refunding backers who paid for the PC version of the game. Rather than having Ys Net (Developers of Shenmue 3) or Deep Silver (Publishers) return the backer money, Epic will so that cost isn’t taken away from the development of Shenmue 3. CEO of Epic, Tim Sweeney, also announced that for any games backed on Kickstarter that went from PC to Epic Store exclusive will be refunded by the company if fans demand it. So fans can be happy about getting their refunds but still be angry about the game being on Epic Store. It will be interesting to see if being Epic Games exclusive on PC will reduce the sales.
Shenmue 3 will finally release on PlayStation 4 and the Epic Store on November 19th, 2019.