Epic Games co-founder renews attack on Universal Windows Platform

Sweeney: Microsoft’s ‘sneaky manouevres’ aim to break Steam

Tim Sweeney is still convinced that Microsoft’s Windows 10 push is designed to destroy and phase out Valve’s leading Steam marketplace.

The co-founder of Unreal Engine creator Epic Games has previously discussed this at length, slamming Microsoft’s plans for the Universal Windows Platform as an ‘embarrassing fiasco’ and suggesting to Develop ways in which the corporation could avoid locking down the historically open PC platform.

Now in an interview with Edge, via PC Gamer, he has further elaborated on the nature of the threat he believes universal apps poses to the PC market – and specifically to Steam. 

It hinges on the face that UWP seeks to combat the vulnerabilities of the Win32 programming interface, which can be used to spread malware and viruses. Unfortunately, every Steam app – and therefore the majority of PC games – uses Win32.

“If Microsoft convinces everybody to use UWP, then they phase out Win32 apps,” Sweeney explains. “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."

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