Shenmue 3’s makers have outlined exactly how they will handle making refunds to crowdfunding donors upset that the game is an Epic Games Store exclusive. It does not sound like it will be a smooth or timely process.
In a note on Thursday, Ys Net told donors that an email survey will go out in mid-September to remind them of their platform choice and give them an opportunity to change that selection. This is just the beginning though. Refunds will begin for PC backers, but only after this survey runs its course. Moreover, PC players have only two weeks, the window in which the email survey is live, to ask for their money back.
After that, “it may take up to 20 business days to 3 months from the time the refund request is made until the refund transaction is completed.”
Ys Net explains that this time-consuming process is necessary, “due to the fact that the campaign is now 4 years on, along with the complexity of the transactions and payment service system arrangements.”
Back in July, when Ys Net announced it had done the deed with Epic, Epic boss Tim Sweeney said Epic Games would cover the cost of any refunds.
Thursday’s news was not all unpleasant; Ys Net said a trial version is on the way “during the second half of September.” That will feature a single act with an objective set in Bailu Village, the game’s first area. “The game will be playable for an estimated 1 hours, and will be replayable after the objective has been cleared,” the studio wrote. “There are lots of activities to experience and we hope you go back for more until the trial expires.” That said, progress and game saves do not transfer to the full version of Shenmue 3.
Shenmue 3 launches for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on Nov. 19; it was originally planned for a Steam release on PC. Ys Net said back in July that it had explored the possibility of offering Steam keys for the game “on the day of release. However, coordination with the sales policies of the involved companies was untenable,” thus the refund option.
Shenmue 3, the sequel to 2002’s Shenmue 2, was funded with $6.3 million in Kickstarter seed money in July 2015.