Epic Games has pledged to offer refunds for any crowdfunded games launching exclusively on the Epic storefront.
After the massive backlash against Shenmue 3’s surprise Epic exclusivity during E3, Epic Games has decided to shift their policy regarding refunds, declaring that they will personally pay crowdfunding backers who do not want to buy the game any longer. This announcement comes alongside the option for Shenmue backers to either wait a year for the game to come to Steam or swap to a PS4 version.
This move takes some of the worry off of fan and developer shoulders, as potential buyers will not be forced into using a PC storefront they don’t want to play a game at launch and developers will be able to safely pocket the money Epic paid for their exclusivity. This does not fix the issue of the Epic store and launcher being nigh universally-unwanted options compared to Steam, and it won’t stop fan backlash towards publishers and developers who did not explicitly confirm Epic exclusivity beforehand, but its a step in the right direction.
It’s an awkward growth period for the Epic Games store, which has yet to catch up to Steam in any area besides their exclusives (in so much as they have them, not how many they have). This is a goodwill move, but it remains to be seen if the Epic launcher will grow to become anything more than Fortnite’s front-end.