Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney has previously come forward to attack Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative. In March this year he claimed that UWP is "the most aggressive move Microsoft has ever made," to dominate the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolise app distribution. At that time Sweeney made a rallying call to developers to oppose UWP.
In a recent interview with subscription gaming magazine Edge, (via PC Gamer) Sweeney has made further interesting and provocative claims about Microsoft's plans to take over PC games distribution. In a nutshell, Sweeney claims that Microsoft is already implementing a cunning plan to subvert Steam by patching Windows 10. Over the next five years or so this strategy will make Steam become buggy and unreliable. A deliberate, slow-motion, rival software hobbling strategy…
"Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken," Sweeney told Edge. "They'll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seems like an ideal alternative. That's exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas." Sweeney went on to say that Microsoft's efforts to spoil Steam have already become visible but there's hope that they might not be competent enough to pull off this skulduggery.
Microsoft is indeed trying hard to make a success of UWP, to make it a booming one-stop-shop for users of PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, and upcoming devices like the HoloLens. It likely hopes to follow Apple's success of enjoying huge revenue streams from apps, populated with efforts undertaken mainly by third party companies. However, intentionally damaging a PC Gaming cornerstone, like Steam on Windows, sounds a rather risky strategy for the future of PC gaming as a whole.