Shenmue 3 developer Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver have decided to release the record-breaking Kickstarter game as an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC, an announcement that comes ahead of Shenmue 3's release this November.
The announcement was made as part of the game’s PC Gaming Show showing at E3 this year, and was followed quickly by an update to the game’s Kickstarter page.
“In looking for the most enjoyable experience on PC, it was decided together with Deep Silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option,” reads that Kickstarter update.
With that, Shenmue 3 follows in the footsteps of games like Borderlands 3 and The Division 2 that have signed exclusivity agreements with Epic’s fledgling store. Even outside of exclusivity deals, the platform offers devs an 88/12 revenue split (as opposed to Valve’s traditional 70/30 for most games) making for an attractive storefront to many. And, since Shenmue 3 is powered by Unreal Engine, Ys Net is likely benefiting from the storefront's promise to cover the 5 percent engine royalty fee for Epic Games Store sales as well.
While every exclusivity announcement seems to attract backlash on social media, that looks to be doubly true for crowdfunded titles. Outer Wilds, funded through the crowdfunding platform Fig, announced Epic Games Store PC exclusivity last month and was met with criticism from backers who had pitched in expecting a Steam key and questions about the game’s promised Linux support.
The Shenmue 3 update has already seen its share of comments from backers that had wanted the game on Steam. While the campaign page doesn’t specifically list Steam as its platform, PC system requirements in previous updates said Shenmue 3 would require Steam to activate on PC. The system requirements in the latest update call for the Epic Games Store client instead.