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Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has announced Epic will provide refund support for any future crowdfunded games that go Epic store exclusive. The announcement appears prompted by events earlier in the week when the Kickstarter funded title Shenmue 3 revealed it would be going Epic exclusive. After it came to light that backers, who were originally promised a Steam key for the game, would no longer receive one. Outrage was quick to follow.
In a move to quickly calm the waters, Epic announced that they would provide refunds for the disgruntled backers. Typically refunds would land at the feet of developers or their publishers, but Sweeney explained Epic’s decision to cover Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter refunds on Twitter.
In a tweet on Tuesday he explained that Epic would foot the bill “so that refunds won’t reduce Ys Net’s development funding”. He later followed up the tweet with assurances that future crowdfunded Epic-exclusives would “ensure key availability in advance, or guarantee refunds at announcement time”.
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Epic CEO Tim Sweeney explains how store exclusives will ‘ultimately benefit gamers’
In recent months Epic have been pushing hard to position it’s gaming platform as a real contender to market leader Steam. Buying up exclusives left, right and centre they haven’t been subtle in their goals, often to the annoyance of gamers unhappy to be railroaded on to yet another gaming platform. However, in offering to foot the bill for crowdfunded game refunds and in offering a considerably more favourable profit split, it seems that Epic Games is only getting more and more enticing for developers, old and new alike.
When you are potentially a cash poor developer, trying to make ends meet, who wouldnt want to be closer to all that Epic money? Getting a deal with Epic, perhaps, would mean you can sleep easier. Or could you? What do you guys think?