Epic Founder Tim Sweeney Claims Microsoft Will Poison Steam With Sneaky Windows 10 Patches

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney isn't a fan of what Microsoft is doing with Windows 10, and specifically its effort to promote the Windows Store by pushing the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) model. We already know this, but lest anyone think Sweeney has cooled off since the last time he raked Microsoft over the coals, he had more to say on the matter, accusing the Redmond outfit of being sneaky in its attempt to overthrow Steam.

"There are two programming interfaces for Windows and every app has to choose one of them. Every Steam app - every PC game for the past few decades - has used Win32. It's been both responsible for the vibrant software market we have now, but also for malware. Any program can be a virus. Universal Windows Platform is seen as the antidote to that. It's sandboxed—much more locked down. The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everyone to use UWP, then they phase out Win32 apps," Sweeney told Edge Magazine in an interview.

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Paranoia or justification for concern? The Microsoft Windows Store

Should the day ever come where practically everyone is using UWP instead of Win32, Sweeney feels it would be a "small leap" for Microsoft to force all games to be distributed in the Windows Store.

"It won't be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library - what they're trying to do is a series of sneaky maneuvers. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones," Sweeney adds.

A scenario in which Microsoft usurps Steam as the dominant digital platform for games isn't just a possibility in Sweeney's mind, but an outcome that Microsoft is aiming towards by using underhanded tactics.

Tim Sweeney

"Slowly, over the next 5 years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken," Sweeney says.

Sweeney concedes that Microsoft will never completely break Steam, but thinks it will chip away at the platform's stability until "people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seems like an ideal alternative." Without listing specific examples, he claims Microsoft has used this tactic before in other areas and now it's effectively trying to take down Steam in similar fashion.

"It's only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan but they are certainly trying," Sweeney said.