Tim Sweeney Wiki Commons e
Tim Sweeney

Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) serves many purposes for the company. It helps to entice developers from other platforms as porting apps to UWP requires less code. The plan unifies Microsoft’s ecosystem and the company says gives users more choice. However, there are some who think Microsoft’s plans for UWP are more nefarious.

Epic Games co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney has been among the most voracious critics of UWP. He has offered scathing opinions on the platform in March and May. Sweeney has expanded on what concerns him about Universal Windows in an interview. He previously said Microsoft was creating a monopoly, and speaking to Edge magazine he expands on that accusation:

Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken,” says Sweeney. “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.”

Sweeney’s comments are particularly interesting because Epic Games works closely with Microsoft. The two companies worked on the original Gears of War trilogy together, Microsoft as publisher, Epic Games as developer.

Reason for Concern?

Gears of War 4 is just around the corner, but this time the Xbox property will be developed by The Coalition and Splash Damage. So are Sweeney’s UWP comments just sour grapes for Epic Games not being on board for Gears 4? It would be easy to think that, but it’s unlikely.

The split between Microsoft and Epic seemed amicable. Indeed, Epic Games even sold the rights of the franchise to Microsoft. Sweeney said his company making the fourth installment in the franchise was simply not financially viable.

So, Sweeney’s concerns about the Universal Windows Platform appear genuine. Microsoft faces two problems. Firstly, Sweeney is hugely influential, so what he says tends to be noticed and followed. Secondly, he is unlikely to be the only one with such views. The company will need to address the concerns as the UWP concept grows in the coming months and years.