Shots Fired – Epic’s Tim Sweeney Accuses Microsoft Of Trying To Monopolise PC Games Development [UPDATE]

As we’ve already said, Windows 10 Store has major issues that have not been resolved as of yet. And it appears that Tim Sweeney, Epic Games’ co-founder – is also not happy with Microsoft’s approach to this. Sweeney accused Microsoft of trying to monopolise PC games development, claiming that Microsoft wants to lock down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolising app distribution and commerce.

As Tim Sweeney wrote in The Guardian, with this new new Universal Windows Platform initiative and its new exclusive features, Microsoft is ‘effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem.’

Sweeney went into more details in order to express what is actually wrong with Microsoft’s stance regarding UWP.

“The specific problem here is that Microsoft’s shiny new “Universal Windows Platform” is locked down, and by default it’s impossible to download UWP apps from the websites of publishers and developers, to install them, update them, and conduct commerce in them outside of the Windows Store.

It’s true that if you dig far enough into Microsoft’s settings-burying UI, you can find a way to install these apps by enabling “side-loading”. But in turning this off by default, Microsoft is unfairly disadvantaging the competition. Bigger-picture, this is a feature Microsoft can revoke at any time using Windows 10’s forced-update process.”

Sweeney also added that one of the big danges here is that Microsoft may continually improve UWP while at the same time neglect and even degrade win32 over time, thus forcing developers and publishers to actually comply with its new UWP commerce monopoly.

The biggest problem here, as you may have guessed, is that Microsoft is trying to turn today’s open PC ecosystem into a closed, Microsoft-controlled distribution and commerce monopoly.

Sweeney concluded:

“In my view, if Microsoft does not commit to opening PC UWP up in the manner described here, then PC UWP can, should, must and will, die as a result of industry backlash. Gamers, developers, publishers simply cannot trust the PC UWP “platform” so long as Microsoft gives evasive, ambiguous and sneaky answers to questions about UWP’s future, as if it’s a PR issue. This isn’t a PR issue, it’s an existential issue for Microsoft, a first-class determinant of Microsoft’s future role in the world.”

UPDATE:

Kevin Gallo, corporate vice president of Windows at Microsoft, responded to The Guardian’s article with following statement:

“The Universal Windows Platform is a fully open ecosystem, available to every developer, that can be supported by any store. We continue to make improvements for developers; for example, in the Windows 10 November Update, we enabled people to easily side-load apps by default, with no UX required.

We want to make Windows the best development platform regardless of technologies used, and offer tools to help developers with existing code bases of HTML/JavaScript, .NET and Win32, C+ + and Objective-C bring their code to Windows, and integrate UWP capabilities. With Xamarin, UWP developers can not only reach all Windows 10 devices, but they can now use a large percentage of their C# code to deliver a fully native mobile app experiences for iOS and Android. We also posted a blog on our development tools recently.”

John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities.Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email