The Kickstarter backers don’t like how they’ll only be able to play Shenmue III on Epic Games Store instead of Steam (and, due to Deep Silver being the publisher, they’ll probably get Denuvo as well on PC).
„As noted in the updates and survey at launch, we had originally planned for PC distribution through Steam. Taking publishing and sales considerations into account, Ys Net and Deep Silver agreed to our partnership with Epic Games Store on PC version distribution. […] 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 disappointment 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 […] refund requests will be honoured. Details concerning the refund request process will be announced in a following update. We ask for your patience until that time,” a Kickstarter update reads. You can ask for a PlayStation 4 code instead of the Epic Games Store one, but you can only get a Steam code a year after the EGS release.
This image shows how the game’s additional content via the Kickstarter stretch goals has changed. Interestingly, there’s a removed function (the character perspective thing), but in return, there are extras that will be added to the game despite not reaching its funding goal. Also, the Baisha village has been replaced by a fortified castle, and a skill tree is replaced by a skill book.
Tim Sweeney, the head of Epic Games, wrote about the refunding details on Twitter: „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. When future games go Epic-exclusive after offering crowdfunding rewards on other PC stores, we’ll either coordinate with colleagues at the other stores to ensure key availability in advance or guarantee refunds at announcement time.”
Shenmue III – unless it gets delayed again – will launch on November 19 on PlayStation 4 and on the Epic Games Store on PC.