Epic’s CEO thinks Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform is an abomination

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The Universal Windows Platform has not been especially well received by gamers. Games sold on the Windows store in Windows 10 run poorly when compared to their Steam versions, and its delivery platform brings with it a host of inherent problems.

It’s not just gamers who’re up in arms though. It looks like developers have a bone to pick with Microsoft over its implementation too. In a very, very angry sounding piece on the Guardian by Epic’s Tim Sweeny, the outspoken developer says that Microsoft is “subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers.”

He believes the company is trying to monopolise how games re sold, and wants to put an end to UWP.

“The specific problem here is that Microsoft’s shiny new ‘Universal Windows Platform’ is locked down,” Sweeney goes on. “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.”

Sweeny asks that UWP be a little more open.

  • 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.

“In my view, if Microsoft does not commit to opening PC UWP up in the manner described here, then PC UWP can, should, must and will, die as a result of industry backlash.

“Gamers, developers, publishers simply cannot trust the PC UWP “platform” so long as Microsoft gives evasive, ambiguous and sneaky answers to questions about UWP’s future, as if it’s a PR issue,” he says.

What do you think? Is Microsoft’s Store the devil?

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Last Updated: March 4, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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