Epic boss Tim Sweeney has announced Epic will fund all Kickstarter refunds for any future games that go exclusive on the platform.
Following the announcement that backers of Shenmue 3 who aren't happy with the year period of Epic exclusivity will receive refunds, Sweeney took to Twitter to explain Epic will settle the bill "so that refunds won't reduce Ys Net's development funding".
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
In a follow up tweet he added that with future crowdfunded Epic-exclusive titles, the company will "coordinate with colleagues at the other stores to ensure key availability, or guarantee refunds at announcement time".
After originally promising Steam and DRM free keys to backers, Shenmue 3 put itself in a difficult position by announcing it would be an Epic Store exclusive on PC in its first year, and this isn't the first time the platform has caused a fan uproar by snagging a crowdfunded game to make it a timed exclusive.
While Epic's strategy of paying for exclusives is clearly annoying players, Sweeney believes they're the only way to take on Steam's current PC monopoly.