Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney seems to be gearing up for war against Microsoft, warning other game developers to fight back against their attempt at total control.
In a very bold post on The Guardian, Sweeney, the co-founder of Epic Games and creator of the Microsoft-exclusive Gears of War franchise, accused Microsoft of attempting to monopolize and seize control the entire PC games market.
“As the founder of a major Windows game developer and technology supplier, this is an op-ed I hoped I would never feel compelled to write,” he wrote.
Sweeney goes on to explain that “with its new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10, as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolizing app distribution and commerce.”
He outlines that the UWP is the "most aggressive" move Microsoft has ever made.
Sweeney fears that Microsoft is moving against the PC community in an effort to monopolize on everything to do with the PC games market. He thinks it’s a foolish move for Microsoft to attempt to sever the relationship between developer and consumer – a move he thinks few developers will want to be a part of.
“Microsoft’s intentions must be judged by Microsoft’s actions, not Microsoft’s words. Their actions speak plainly enough: they are working to turn today’s open PC ecosystem into a closed, Microsoft-controlled distribution and commerce monopoly, over time, in a series of steps of which we’re seeing the very first,” he wrote, encouraging developers to fight back.
Sweeney goes on to list developers’ two choices: “Oppose this, or cede control of their existing customer relationships and commerce to Microsoft’s exclusive control.”
Responding to Sweeney’s post, Corporate Vice President of Windows at Microsoft Kevin Gallo told the Guardian “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.”
Sweeney warns developers to trust Microsoft’s actions, rather than the company’s words. He believes that while the Universal Windows Platform may be beneficial to consumers in the short-term, it is devastating to developers in the long run.