Epic Games Offers Refunds for Crowdfunded Games that Turn EGS Exclusive
As PCGamer recently reported, Epic Games has announced a new policy regarding refunds and crowdfunded games that become Epic Games Store exclusive titles — namely, EG will foot the bill for refunds should backers not want the title on EGS.
This announcement follows Ys Net and Deep Silver's decision to make Shenmue 3 an Epic Games Store exclusive, despite previously suggesting fans could purchase the game through Steam on the day of its release. Now, fans wanting the game on PC can choose a physical PC disc that basically just installs the Epic Games Store or an EGS key.
Naturally, some backers were less than pleased and saw this as yet another case of unexpected poaching on Epic's part. Ys Net and Deep Silver offered refunds for those who decided against an EGS copy, but originally didn't provide details on how these refunds would be realized.
That's when Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney stepped in. Sweeney announced on Twitter that Epic would cover the cost of refunds for backers who don't want the game on Epic's platform.
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. https://t.co/mSGdbzYPJ5— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 2, 2019
There's a promise for future EGS exclusives too. After offering rewards, Sweeney said Epic would work with other PC platform holders to either ensure key availability or, should that not be possible, offer refunds.
In other words, PC gamers should expect Epic to gather in more crowdfunded games and works from smaller development teams in the future.
It's not a popular choice with consumers for various reasons, but it's a practical choice for many developers. A little while back, Mobius announced Outer Wilds would be EGS exclusive because Epic offered vital financial support the team couldn't pass up. The same rationale probably applied to the Shenmue III decision as well, not to mention the support Ys Net received with Unreal Engine — an Epic-developed engine.
Essentially, Epic is acting much like a big development studio. Just as Sony is rumored to be doing for the PlayStation 5 (or whatever it ends up being), Epic is focused on acquiring big-name titles for its platform, such as Borderlands 3 and Ghost Recon, while also gathering in multiple small developers to fill out its roster.