Tim Sweeney is best known for being the founder of Epic Games, the studio that developed Gears of War – a hugely successful franchise published by Microsoft. Despite his connections with the console manufacturer, Mr. Sweeney has often been outspoken with regard to his criticism of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform, claiming that “Microsoft wants to monopolise games development on PC” in an interview with The Guardian in March. In a more recent interview with Edge in Edge issue #296, Tim Sweeney once again did not hold back in his criticism of the project. He had this to say:
“The trouble started when Microsoft began shipping some PCs and regular Surfaces that were so locked down that you couldn’t run Win32 apps; you could only run apps that had been bought from their store. That is a complete travesty. With Windows 10 they removed some more capabilities. They’ve been able to do this via some sneaky PR moves. They make a bunch of statements that sound vaguely like they’re promoting openness, but really they’re not promising anything of the sort.
The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everybody to use UWP (Universal Windows Platform), then they phase out Win32 apps. If they can succeed in doing that then it’s a small leap to forcing all apps and games to be distributed through the Windows Store. Once we reach that point, the PC has become a closed platform. It won’t be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library – what they’re trying to do is a series of sneaky manoeuvres. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones.
Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken. They’ll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seems like an ideal alternative. That’s exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas. Now they’re doing it to Steam. It’s only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan, but they’re certainly trying”.
Tim Sweeney is currently working on Paragon, Epic Games’ latest project, due for release on Microsoft Windows and PS4 in 2016.