This is something you might not expect to hear about until after a game comes out, but developer Deep Silver, publisher YsNet and exclusive PC distributor Epic Games Store are now offering refunds to Kickstarter backers of Shenmue 3. The reason: some of them have been demanding it. Loudly.

Last month’s E3 brought with it two new bits of news for Shenmue 3: a trailer, and the revelation that Epic Games had obtained exclusive rights to the PC version of the game — when it comes out, you’ll only be able to buy it at the Epic Games Store. Essentially, this amounts to having to load up a different launcher when booting your game, an inconvenience of a few seconds…but we guess some folks are too used to using Steam for everything.

Some PC gamers were so outraged by this exclusivity deal that they decided they didn’t even want the game anymore. They demanded the ability to rescind their pledges, which is a pretty rare thing to be able to do. In this case, however, they’re getting it — YsNet announced the option would become available. The one thing Deep Silver CAN’T do is go back on the deal with Epic, so….no Steam keys on launch day, even though they were promised.

In response to backers who have requested Steam keys for their rewards, we discussed offering the keys on the day of release. However, coordination with the sales policies of the involved companies was untenable, and as a result we are not able to make a day one distribution option for Steam keys available.

That we are not able to offer Steam keys for Kickstarter rewards at the time of the game’s release is a great disappointed and inconvenience for those backers who were expecting to receive them. We deeply apologize for the unrest caused by the announcement.

Along with Deep Silver and Epic Games, we have agreed that should the above proposal not be acceptable to backers, refund requests will be honored.

Details concerning the refund request process will be announced in a following update. We ask for your patience until that time.

*In the case rewards within your reward tier, such as in-game content, have already been created and implemented, a full refund may not be possible.

There IS an extra option: Epic’s exclusivity deal expires in one year, so if PC gamers are willing to wait that long, they can opt to receive a Steam key in late 2020. Hey, if you want it that badly….

Shenmue 3 comes out November 19.

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