It seems that the drama surrounding Shenmue 3's long-awaited launch is finally coming to an end, although the solution for PC users who don't want an Epic Games Store (EGS) copy is either to wait for the Steam launch or opt for the refund.
Ys Net and Deep Silver posted an update on Shenmue 3's Kickstarter page, explaining how the decision came about and how they will go about distribution.
"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", they wrote.
Procuring Steam keys without launching on the platform, however, was not possible because "coordination with the sales policies of the involved companies was untenable", which basically means that Shenmue 3 backers insisting on GabeN's platform will have to wait until EGS timed exclusivity has expired.
"That we are not able to offer Steam keys for Kickstarter rewards at the time of the game's release is a great disappointed [sic] and inconvenience for those backers who were expecting to receive them. We deeply apologize for the unrest caused by the announcement", their statement concludes.
Shenmue 3 has had a number of issues in development, including a few delays, and the game's Kickstarter backers who expected Steam keys were ultimately informed they can get only get EGS keys at launch, and that's without any refund options.
As you'd expect, this didn't sit well with many of their backers, and many of them made their thoughts pretty clear on the game's Kickstarter page.
At the time of writing, a few commenters are clearly dead set on refunds, although some of them are actually angry over other things, such as the season pass.
Epic games caught quite some flak over Ys Net and Deep Silver's decision, and they ultimately offered to pay so the two can honour Steam backers, but that seemed to do little to appease the disappointed backers.
You can find the update on Shenmue 3's Kickstarter page here.