Ys Net and Deep Silver have asked their fans to be patient while they're away demoing Shenmue III at E3 so they can 'assess' the situation once they return to their offices. The announcement came in a recent update to the Kickstarter campaign in which Ys Net seemed keen to make their fans know that they were taking on their negative feedback and would act accordingly. Presumably, this 'assessment' would take a close look at the damage that the exclusivity deal would be doing to the perception of the game amongst backers and fans.
The exclusivity of Shenmue III was originally announced at the PC Gaming Show which was sponsored by Epic Games. Although the exclusivity itself was officially revealed at the show (albeit, unclearly originally if it was exclusive or just coming to the store), it was later clarified on the Shenmue III FAQ page that the game was going to be exclusive for a single year before being made available on other PC storefronts. Throughout a large chunk of the original campaign for Shenmue III, it was only promised that the game would be released on PC, not to a specific storefront. It was only after a post-Kickstarter server which asked backers which service they would like the game to be released on that the choice of the distributor was clarified.
Ys Net themselves came under fire for refusing to refund their backers if they wanted out of the project because of the swap from Steam to the Epic Games Store. Deep Silver, when talking to PC Gamer, said: "Deep Silver joined the project long after the Kickstarter was set up and therefore isn't in a position to comment on the actions as we are not involved in that side of the project."
The update is almost certainly a response to the huge amount of backlash that Shenmue III had after it was revealed at E3 this year that the highly anticipated title would be an Epic Store Exclusive when it releases next year. Many backers were claiming they had been scammed because the campaign had been promised physical copies of the game, and now it was revealed that the physical copies for PC versions would just be a key. They also feel scammed due to post-Kickstarter surveys having said Steam keys and the assumption based on the 2015 PC market of the game releasing on Steam.
In the update before last on the crowdfunding campaign, Ys Net had talked about the store exclusivity in very positive terms, speaking of the development of the game going well using Unreal Engine, and that after much consideration with Deep Silver that the Epic Store was the 'best distribution platform option' for the most enjoyable experience on PC. In the comments for that update, many fans took the company to task with big lists of their problems with the game since the announcement.
Shenmue III is the latest in a line of Epic Store exclusive games that have garnered huge backlash, especially for games that were crowdfunded using sites such as Kickstarter.
What do you think about the latest Epic Game Store controversy? Are you a backer of Shenmue III that has been upset by the announced exclusivity? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.