Shenmue 3 developer Ys Net has posted an update on its Kickstarter addressing backers of the PC version, which recently become an Epic Games Store exclusive despite plans to launch on Steam. Ys Net, along with publisher Deep Silver and Epic Games said they'd "assess the situation" after the news was less than well received. The result is unlikely to unruffle those feathers.
Backers were originally anticipating Steam keys, and some have asked that they still get them as their backer reward when Shenmue 3 launches. That won't be happening, unfortunately. If you want a Steam key, you'll have to wait for a year.
"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," Ys Net wrote in the update.
Backers are still being offered options, however, with four versions available. You can get a physical PC version which comes with a disc as well as an Epic Games Store key, the Epic Games Store code on its own, a physical copy for PS4 or a PSN code. So if you previously picked PC but would now like to switch to PS4, you can do that. If you stick with PC, you can manually select to also receive a Steam key when they become available.
If that's not acceptable, writes Ys Net, refund requests will be honoured. The details of the refund process haven't been announced yet, but they'll follow in the next update. There could be an exception for backers with rewards that have already been made or implemented, however, so a full refund might not be possible in every case.
Update: Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney revealed on Twitter that the cost of refunds will be covered by Epic, and pledged to cover refunds (or pre-existing key commitments) for all other crowdfunded games that become Epic Games Store exclusives in the future.
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/mSGdbzYPJ5July 2, 2019