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My thoughts on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform for Games

So I saw this on Friday: Microsoft wants to monopolise games development on PC

“With its new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10, as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolising app distribution and commerce”

I’m a PC guy and have defended Microsoft at every turn, but if this is true, they’ve lost me – glad I haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 now. Can UWP games show up on itch.io or GameJolt (two great places to find indie games made by small teams) or do we have the use the garbage that is the Windows Store? I haven’t loaded that shit up in a year, it runs like a dog.

“If UWP is to gain the support of major PC game and application developers, it must be as open a platform as today’s predominant win32 API, which is used by all major PC games and applications.”

Microsoft needs to understand that they only hold the dominant position they do specifically because they had an open platform that other developers could leverage to build their own apps. In the past couple of years, I’ve waffled back and forth on whether it’s good or not that Microsoft has been trying to make things like Surface more locked down. I thought it was the only way to pull in the sort of people that don’t want to or care to understand how to work a computer. I’ve now figured out that it’s a bad thing.

Microsoft has since responded, but I don’t know if I believe them.

“The Universal Windows Platform is a fully open ecosystem, available to every developer, that can be supported by any store. We continue to make improvements for developers; for example, in the Windows 10 November Update, we enabled people to easily side-load apps by default, with no UX required.”

As a side note, I cannot believe I’m in agreement with Epic on anything – I’m still mad they haven’t made a Jazz Jackrabbit game in 18 years (we will not speak of the 2002 game boy abomination).

Published in Linkblog