We all know that Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games and co-creator of the Unreal Engine, is not a big fan of Microsoft’s Universal Window Platform (UWP). Back in March, Sweeney accused Microsoft of trying to monopolise PC games development. And today, Sweeney shared his concerns regarding Microsoft’s stance towards Steam.
In an interview with Edge Magazine, Sweeney claimed that Microsoft will try and make Steam worse and more broken during the next five years.
As Tim Sweeney said:
“There are two programming interfaces for Windows and every app has to choose one of them. Every Steam app – every PC game for the past few decades – has used Win32. It’s been both responsible for the vibrant software market we have now, but also for malware. Any program can be a virus. Universal Windows Platform is seen as an antidote to that. It’s sandboxed – much more locked down.
The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everybody to use UWP, 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.”
Tim Sweeney concluded that over the next five years, Microsoft will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken.
“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.”
Whether Microsoft intends to attempt something like that remains to be seen. What we know so far, however, is that Microsoft’s first party triple-A games are sold exclusively via the Windows store. Moreover, there aren’t – at least for now – any third party triple-A titles that favour UWP over Win32.