Microsoft is trying to forcibly take control of PC gaming

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Just as Gabe Newell predicted more than three years ago, Microsoft is trying to turn Windows into a closed ecosystem, which is especially bad news for gamers, as it means the platform is becoming more and more like consoles in the worst way. At least, that’s what Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney told The Guardian on Friday, saying that Microsoft is trying to force itself to become the middle man between developers and their customers. Many developers share Sweeny’s beliefs, but as the co-founder of the company that created the Gears of War series, Sweeny’s words have more weight to them.

One of the world’s biggest and most successful games development studios has launched a stinging attack on Microsoft. Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, creator of the multimillion selling Gears of War series, has accused the Redmond corporation of attempting to monopolise and control the entire PC games market. “[Microsoft is] curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers,” he wrote in the Guardian. Sweeney’s anger is directed at the newly announced Universal Windows Platform (UWP), a programming application for Windows 10 developers. Microsoft says UWP will allow studios to produce a single version of a game – or any piece of software – which will then run on all current Microsoft devices, including Windows 10 PCs, the Xbox One console and Windows smartphones and tablets. The concern voiced by Sweeney and echoed by other developers the Guardian has spoken to is that UWP is a closed platform, which means developers will need to be licensed by Microsoft to distribute games written using the platform. It could also mean that Microsoft will be able to control the sale of PC games and applications, ensuring that UWP titles will only be available through its own Windows Store.

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