Microsoft's plan to close off the open PC market will manifest itself in a slow and gradual attack on Steam, Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney believes.
Sweeney already stands as the most outspoken critic of Windows 10 and Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform. Now PC Gamer reports that he has told Edge magazine that he believes Microsoft plans to strategically weaken and eventually break Steam.
"Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken,” he stated. 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.
"The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everybody to use UWP, then they phase out Win32 apps [the current standard that open PC apps are built for]. 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."