Epic Games Founder Worried “About the Future of Microsoft”

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney believes Windows could find itself on the way out if Microsoft doesn’t embrace “a more open approach” to app development.

Sweeney offered these opinions in a recent interview where he discussed his company’s recent decision to sell Unreal Engine 4 access for a mere $19 a month. According to Sweeney it’s a move that’s been a long time in the making.

“We’ve been debating opening up the engine source for about 10 years now,” he said. “We always just had some fear of what it would do to our business or whether it would leak out or attract patent trolls. But this time around with the rise of indies the benefits to the world of releasing the code far outweighed the negatives.”

Relating that to Microsoft and echoing the concerns of others in the game industry, Sweeney expressed that the company’s decision to make Windows 8 a more closed platform could be detrimental to the brand and its position as an operating system for gamers.

“I genuinely worry about the future of Microsoft,” stated Sweeney. “They say the future of app development and developers should focus [on Windows 8], but you can only ship that with Microsoft’s permission and Microsoft’s approval through Microsoft’s store. And that sucks compared to the open nature of the PC platform before.”

Comparatively, Sweeney described Steam as a “great democratizing factor on PC” and expressed his belief that if Microsoft continues pushing Windows down the path of tighter control it could drive developers to “shift to other alternatives, like Steambox and Android.” That said, Sweeney affirmed his hope that feedback from developers, along with recent management changes, will help guide the company to readopt the more open approach that PC users have traditionally enjoyed in the past.

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1 Comment on Epic Games Founder Worried “About the Future of Microsoft”


On April 1, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Mr. Sweeney may be correct. Honestly, I think we’ll have to wait a few years to see what MS does with the next version of Windows as well as what Satya Nadella does with the company as a whole before we say that there’s a serious problem. I will agree that at present, the indicators are not good. Furthermore, if MS does eventually go the way of the Zune, it will have hung itself with a rope that it bought and tied all on its own.
‘Social’ will be the ruin of MS if it stays on current course. The only difference between ‘social’ and any other tech bubble is scale. The money involved is just obscuring the overall trend. Despite all it’s short-term billions, Facebook is dying as surely as MySpace did, and for much the same reasons. Any company that builds a product foundation on social media to the detriment of other product features deserves the eventual plunge off the cliff.