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Epic CEO accuses Microsoft of turning PC gaming into a walled Windows Store garden in weakly argued rant

Jared Newman | March 7, 2016
“The Universal Windows Platform can, should, must, and will die.”

It’s too bad, because there are specific, legitimate concerns to be raised over the direction of Windows and UWP. As PC Perspective recently reported, Microsoft appears to be enforcing a standardized rendering pipeline through its own Windows compositing engine for games that use DirectX12. It’s a deeply technical issue, but one that could help facilitate new gaming features that Microsoft may want to build exclusively for UWP.

And sure, it’s reasonable to have some vague suspicions about Microsoft’s long-term goals with UWP, simply because Microsoft does control the underlying Windows platform. One could point to the Windows Store-exclusive launches of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and the upcoming Quantum Break as examples of Microsoft trying to nudge PC gaming in a particular direction.

But at the same time, other publishers like Valve and EA are free to publish exclusives to their own Steam and Origin distribution platforms. And as Sweeney himself points out, Steam has more than 100 million users currently. Blizzard and Riot Games have their booming platforms exclusively for hits like Diablo III and League of Legends. How do PC gaming platforms that large even begin to disappear at Microsoft’s behest? Again, Sweeney provides no evidence.

Perhaps Sweeney, as the head of a major gaming developer and toolmaker, is privy to some off-the-record details that he can only allude to in his editorial. If so, it’d be great to hear what he really knows. As it stands, his rallying cry against Microsoft is the type of facile analysis that only appeals to our most paranoid instincts.


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