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Shenmue 3 developer promises it is ‘listening’ to fans unhappy with Epic Game Store PC exclusivity deal

Shenmue III developer Ys Net has promised its Kickstarter backers that it is “listening to their concerns” after it signed a one-year PC exclusivity deal with Epic Game Store. In a brief update on its Kickstarter page, the studio asked for fans “to have some patience” as it finished up its E3 activities, but says it will “assess the situation and together find a way forward to justify the trust you placed in us”.

Shenmue III is the latest game to become a timed PC exclusive on Epic Game Store. Despite fan disappointment and an angry backlash, Ys Net has confirmed “refunds will not be granted” for those upset the game will not be coming to Steam at the same time.

“We want to make sure that the Backers are aware that we are listening to their concerns,” said a brief statement on the company’s most recent Kickstarter update (thanks, PC Gamer). “We kindly ask all our fans to have some patience, we are currently at E3 demoing the game and need to get back to our respective offices to assess the situation and together find a way forward to justify the trust you placed in us. Thank you for your patience and support.”

Shenmue III was first announced at PlayStation’s E3 press conference in 2015, the same year it was successfully Kickstarted to the tune of $6,333,295 – breaking world records in the process. Since then the original 2017 release has been pushed back several times, moving from 2017 to early 2018, then August 2019, and – as of last week – now November 2019.

Deep Silver and creator Yu Suzuki stated that “whilst [the game is] almost ready” the highly-anticipated sequel “simply needs a little more refinement before being truly finished”.

Epic has recently announced a slew of exclusive titles for Epic Game Store from partners as wide-ranging as Take-Two’s Private Division, Quantic Dream, Remedy, and 505 Games. Following the success of The Division 2, Ubisoft has committed to launching more new titles, and back catalogue titles, on the store, too, continuing its partnership where titles are exclusive to UPlay and Epic Game Store. Some of those back catalogue titles have also been promised as part of the free games programme.

The most startling inclusion in the list of true exclusives are PC releases of Quantic Dream’s last three games: Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human, all of which are coming to PC for the first time via Epic’s store. Mobius also confirmed last month that its Fig-funded space exploration game, Outer Wilds, will be a PC exclusive for Epic Games Store, much to the disappointment of many backers.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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