GAMING VETERAN Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, which gave the world the Unreal Engine and games like Gears of War, is worried that Microsoft will ruin the games industry if the firm is allowed to continue its closed platform proposition.
Sweeney was given room to write about this in The Guardian (Tim, if you're reading this you can come to us first next time) and made the most of the noises from Microsoft about bringing console and PC gaming closer together.
"With its new Universal Windows Platform initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform within a platform in Windows 10 as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolising app distribution and commerce," he wrote.
"In my view, this is the most aggressive move Microsoft has ever made. While the company has been convicted of violating antitrust law in the past, its wrongful actions were limited to fights with specific competitors and contracts with certain PC manufacturers."
Strong words. Sweeney would probably pick up a pitchfork if there was one close by, but, fortunately, a keyboard was closer and he chose his words carefully. He called for others to join in and stop Microsoft closing doors and preventing publishing parties.
It's good stuff so, like The Guardian, we let him run with it. "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 said.
"But Epic has prided itself on providing software directly to customers ever since I started mailing floppy disks in 1991. We wouldn't let Microsoft close down the PC platform overnight without a fight, and therefore we won't sit silently by while Microsoft embarks on a series of sneaky manoeuvres aimed at achieving this over a period of several years.
"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.
"Unless Microsoft changes course, all of the independent companies comprising the PC ecosystem have a decision to make: to oppose this, or cede control of their existing customer relationships and commerce to Microsoft." µ
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