Ys Net has offered yet another update on the Shenmue III Steam situation via the game’s official Kickstarter page, following a pledge to assess the situation in June 2019. There will be no way to get a Steam key for the game on day one for backers, and the PC physical copies will include the Epic Games Store installer and come with a key for the game there. As a result, there will be four version options available for backers, with the two PC options also offering a Steam key one year after launch.
The four version options for Shenmue III will be a physical PlayStation 4 copy, a digital PlayStation 4 copy, a physical copy of the PC version that includes the Epic Games Store installer on a disc and a key, and an Epic Games Store PC key. People will have the option of switching, even if they originally selected a PC or PlayStation 4 copy. Also, people who do choose one of the two PC options will have to select the delayed Steam key in another part of the backer survey.
Ys Net also confirmed that refunds will be available for people who backed Shenmue III expecting a Steam key. The means of acquiring one has not been announced yet, but an update will be coming with details on how to request a refund.
Here was Ys Net’s latest official statement on Kickstarter, regarding Shenmue III Steam keys.
Regarding the recently announced Epic Games Store exclusive, all of us here at YSNET, Deep Silver and Epic are taking the matter with utmost concern and would like to clarify the circumstances leading to the decision and offer backers options for moving forward.
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, YSNET and Deep Silver agreed to our partnership with Epic Games Store on PC version distribution. As a publishing partner, Deep Silver has greatly contributed not only to sales and marketing, but to scaling up the game so there is more Shenmue III to begin with. Also, Epic Games has been with us from the start of the project when we adopted Unreal Engine 4 for development, and have given us their support throughout the development process.
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.
Shenmue III will come to the PlayStation 4 and PC on November 19, 2019. Its Epic Games Store exclusivity was announced at E3 2019.