Epic Games CEO Criticizes Microsoft’s Windows Platform Initiative

By | 8 months ago 

Epic Games co-founder, Tim Sweeney, verbally attacks Microsoft’s business plans for their Universal Windows Platform initiative over what he sees as an anti-developer platform.

Microsoft certainly sent waves throughout the gaming industry after announcing its plans to unify the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms. The plan has already been in motion for a few months thanks to the Xbox One dashboard update which brought Windows 10 functionality to the console. To advance one step further, Microsoft announced a plan that would ensure that many future Xbox One games would also find their way to the PC platform thanks to an application known as the Universal Windows Platform. Unfortunately, this plan has seemingly made a former Microsoft supporter quite uncomfortable.

Once a powerful supporter of Microsoft and helping to produce games like Shadow Complex and the Gears of War franchise for the Xbox platform, Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney has come out against the plan, going as far as accusing Microsoft of trying to monopolize and control the PC market. Specifically, Sweeney seems to be targeting his anger at the Universal Windows Platform as it is an application which allows studios to develop one version of the game that is able to be run on all current Microsoft devices.

The concern here is that the UWP is a closed platform which means developers who want access to it will need to first be licensed by Microsoft. This could also mean that Microsoft can then control those games written using that platform, ensuring that these titles only appear on their Windows 10 Store instead of a more widely distributed method like Good Old Games or Steam.

“Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP, and is effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem. They’re curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers.”

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Part of Sweeney’s argument can be seen from the fact that Remedy’s third-person action game, Quantum Break, is coming to the PC, but it will not be offered or supported on Steam, one of, if not the biggest distribution services on the platform. Instead, players will need to purchase the game through the Windows 10 Store or pick up a copy on Xbox One which also comes with a code for the PC version as well.

Microsoft has countered Sweeney’s accusations by confirming that UWP is in fact an “open ecosystem” which is available to any developer and can support any store. Microsoft also confirmed that it’s always looking to improve the product for developers, recently enabling the ability to easily side-load apps by default, thereby bypassing the need for UX.

Since its announcement, the Universal Windows Platform has set off a firestorm of controversy among fans. With Xbox One exclusives heading to PC as well like Crackdown 3 and Scalebound, many fans are concerned that the company is backing away from console gaming and hurting the Xbox brand as well since gamers can now purchase these games on the PC instead. Microsoft has recently confirmed that it didn’t see the backlash coming but has no plans to lose focus on the Xbox One.

How do you feel about Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform initiative? Are you happy the company is bringing its exclusives to the PC with cross-save and cross-platform support? Let us know how you feel in the comments below.

Source : The Guardian