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Epic Games will foot refund bill for Shenmue III, future crowdfunded exclusives

Tim Sweeney: Epic will coordinate with stores to ensure keys, or guarantee refunds at announcement

In the last year, a number of games promised for PC release on Steam have moved to the Epic Games store after an exclusivity deal was penned, including most recently, Shenmue III.

But Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says the company is prepared to help make sure that crowdfunded games like Shenmue can switch to the Epic Games store post-campaign if it makes sense for them without having to worry about losing funding to refunds.

In a Twitter statement following today's announcement that Shenmue III PC backers could either receive refunds on the game following its storefront switch, Sweeney tweeted that Epic was footing the bill, and would in the future for similar situations.

"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," he said.

"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 is not the first game to swap to Epic Games store-exclusivity on PC between its announcement and its launch, but it is the first crowdfunded game to do so. Initially, backers who requested refunds reported that their requests were denied. Details on refunds for Shenmue III will be announced in a later update, though backers can also either request a PS4 code instead of an Epic Games store code, or request a Steam code when the exclusivity deal is up one year after launch.

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Rebekah Valentine: Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.
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