Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney blames Valve for Shenmue 3 Kickstarter controversy

June 29, 2019

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With Shenmue 3’s Epic Store exclusivity rightfully annoying Kickstarter backers left and right, Epic Store’s Tim Sweeney has taken to blaming Valve for the situation.

For the unaware, upon Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter reveal, backers were able to choose their platform of choice: PC via Steam or PS4. With Epic Games picking up the title as an Epic Games Store exclusive, backers will not be getting the Steam codes they were promised and will be given codes for the Epic Games Store instead.

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Due to a Valve policy that prohibits developers from distributing Steam keys for games that aren’t launching on the platform, the Epic Store exclusivity means that anyone who backed the title in exchange for a Steam key won’t be able to get one until the title launches on Steam at a far later date.

[shunno-quote] “Epic’s not going to refuse funding worthy exclusivity partners just because a Steam policy change traps crowdfunded projects[/shunno-quote]

In a series of Tweets, Sweeney explained the situation: “As far as we and our partners can determine, Valve policy prohibits providing Steam keys for games that aren’t going to be available at launch on Steam. This would make it impossible to deliver Steam keys for a game releasing exclusively on Epic at launch.”

According to Sweeney, “Epic would be happy to fund partners paying 30% for Steam keys for backers if Valve were willing to provide Steam keys for a game that’s not actively in release on Steam.”

In response to the game’s recent pick up by the Epic Store, Tim Sweeney said the following: “Epic’s not going to refuse funding worthy exclusivity partners just because a Steam policy change traps crowdfunded projects into either launching on Steam for 30% or offering backers refunds.”

This isn’t the only Shenmue release issue that’s popped up recently. While the game has only been slated for PS4 and PC, an Xbox One version was recently made available to pre-order with box art on the official Deep Silver website. Curious, very curious.

But while Shenmue’s Kickstarter release may not be as smooth as many fans would have hoped, at least other Kickstarter games are seeing success. This is actually a convoluted way of introducing you to our review of the Kickstarted Castlevania successor Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Spoiler: it’s great! See ya!

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