The CEO of the studio behind the Gears of War franchise, which was created in partnership with Microsoft Studios, has attacked the company and accused Redmond of seeking to monopolize the market.
Epic Games is arguably best known for its collaboration with Microsoft on the Gears of War franchise, but now the company’s CEO is saying the gaming industry needs to fight against Microsoft, launching a heavy attack on Redmond.
While writing for the Guardian newspaper, Tim Sweeney, the co-founder of Epic Games, accused Microsoft of trying to monopolize the PC gaming market.
He was targeting his criticism to the newly announced Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which Microsoft says will let developers create a single version of a game that can be played on Windows 10 and the Xbox One console.
The UWP will also be used for applications and software to be bridged across Windows and Xbox, with the console getting the Windows Store in what Microsoft says is something that will appeal to hardcore gamers.
Sweeney is clearly not sold on Microsoft’s plan, “[Microsoft is] curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers,” he wrote in the Guardian.
According to the report, other developers share Sweeney’s concerns, believing that Microsoft could create a closed platform where studios need to be licensed by Microsoft to develop for PC. With developers disgruntled, could studios be forced to abandon the Windows platform and move exclusively to Sony’s rival PlayStation platform?
That scenario is unlikely at this point, but this attack from Sweeney really is unprecedented, considering the history Epic Games has with Microsoft. The two companies have worked closely on creating the Gears of War franchise, which is exclusive to Xbox and Windows, so Sweeney’s words highlight how truly concerned the industry is.
It is a contrast to Microsoft’s own aspirations, with the company convinced the Universal Windows Platform will unite gamers across console, PC, and mobile device. Redmond has previously said that the UWP is designed with gamers in mind. Below you can read Sweeney’s comments in full:
Microsoft is moving against the entire PC industry – including consumers (and gamers in particular), software developers such as Epic Games, publishers like EA and Activision, and distributors like Valve and Good Old Games.
Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP, and is effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem.
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.
That any PC Windows user can download and install a UWP application from the web, just as we can do now with win32 applications. No new hassle, no insidious warnings about venturing outside of Microsoft’s walled garden, and no change to Windows’ default settings required.
That any company can operate a store for PC Windows games and apps in UWP format – as Valve, Good Old Games, Epic Games, EA, and Ubi Soft do today with the win32 format, and that Windows will not impede or obstruct these apps stores, relegating them to second-class citizenship.
That users, developers, and publishers will always be free to engage in direct commerce with each other, without Microsoft forcing everyone into its formative in-app commerce monopoly and taking a 30% cut.
SOURCE: The Guardian