The founder of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, has drastically changed his opinion on Microsoft it would seem. As the company responsible for the Xbox brand, there have been a few errors worth criticizing Microsoft over in recent years. Most recently, the price point and design of the Xbox One S All-Digital is a little strange, but there have been a lot of consumer-friendly moves by the company in recent years as well. Most prominently, the Xbox Games Pass has proven to be a service well worth the money for gamers - Game Pass most recently had Minecraft added to it.
Further moves by Microsoft include its upcoming game streaming service, xCloud, which will be debuting later this year. This platform may even lead to Xbox games streaming on Nintendo Switch and other platforms once believed to be rival tech, as Microsoft builds Xbox into a brand that transcends hardware. It's an exciting time to be sure, and some major improvements have been made to accommodate a wider audience. In fact, things have changed so much that one of the company's biggest detractors is now singing a different tune.
Back in 2016, Epic Games' Tim Sweeney was incredibly down on Microsoft for a multitude of reasons. He disliked the company's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) ecosystem, and even believed that Microsoft may have tried to slowly make Valve's Steam storefront function more poorly in order to better suit its own Windows Store. When Sweeney was asked by GamesBeat about his take on Microsoft now, however, he had nothing but lengthy praise for Xbox's parent company.
"Epic is thrilled with everything Microsoft is doing and we feel that we couldn’t be happier with the directions they’ve taken on all their platforms. There’s HoloLens, now an open platform. There’s Windows, a completely open platform. And Microsoft is launching new Microsoft services of all sorts through the Windows Store. And then there’s also Microsoft Game Pass. And those are existing side by side with everybody else’s services. And it’s a really healthy ecosystem, which everybody participates in.
"And then there is Xbox. Consoles are a unique thing. They are television-attached gaming devices, as opposed to like general computing platforms. You’re not doing spreadsheets there. And so it was a different experience and also generally consoles over their history are subsidized hardware and so the hardware recoup some money from software sales. Epic is completely satisfied that their economic models are fair.
"If a bunch of developers get together and decided to make a console, we would probably do something similar. Funding hardware through software is a completely sensible plan. Epic loves Microsoft. Epic hearts Microsoft."
Given that some of Sweeney's biggest complaints were levied against Microsoft's unapparent coup to negatively impact Steam, it's clear why he may have changed his opinion now. Since Epic Games has launched the appropriately titled Epic Games Store off the back of the runaway success of Fortnite, Steam is now major competition for Sweeney and company.
Additionally, and much like Microsoft has begun acquiring studios to build its first-party offerings, Epic Games has been nabbing PC exclusives for its storefront. The biggest title coming exclusively to the Epic Games Store is Borderlands 3, which has caused quite a mixed reaction from gamers. Despite Borderlands 2 review bombs on Steam by this vocal minority (something which seems counterproductive to their apparent goals), it's clear that Epic Games is only just getting started.