The Foxhole Forum

News And Reviews => The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions => Topic started by: Starfox on March 25, 2019, 05:22:01 PM

Title: Tim Sweerney: "Gamers don't see... we're making the gaming industry better"
Post by: Starfox on March 25, 2019, 05:22:01 PM
The guy has a f..cking power of vision then. How could the Epic Games Store make the industry better since they remove from the consumers the freedom to choose wherever they want to buy their games? Since when a monopolistic megalith is "better" than having true competition?

That's a drop too much in a bucket full of idiocy. So it's time for me to empty my sack. Warning, this is an opinion piece. Do with it what you want. I've been following the little show that Epic Games has going on since they announced their first exclusive and I think that there are some things users should know before going any further.

More than a year ago Epic Games was bought (or rather the control was bought, meaning enough shares were bought to assume control of the company) by a Chinese mega-corporation (we're talking about a half trillion US dollars valuation here) called Tencent. In itself it would not be a problem except for Tencent reputation in China. Tencent is not really known from gamers on the North American and European market because I guess they prefer it that way, operating from relative shadows. However they are well known from Chinese and from western game companies. For example they hold 4% of the shares of Ubisoft. Not a lot, but that's enough so that the publisher is required to keep them informed of their moves.

In China Tencent was accused of many things through the years the less of them being that they dislike honest competition (and honestly I think that nobody expects from a company to reach a US$500 billions valuation on the American market while keeping honest all the way -- it's just not how it works, sad but true).

But back to Epic Games and more precisely the Epic Games Store. Tencent has been accused repeatedly through the years of two interesting "practices".

First: they apparently more than frequently just copy the software of their competitors; guess what? If we follow the roadmap Epic Games has laid out for their Epic Store, within two years you'll have a copy of Steam. No less, but certainly no more. Currently the Epic Games Store is so devoid of features that they cannot hope to compete against Steam from a user standpoint (developers and publishers being another matter entirely), not honestly anyway.

Second: They have quite a reputation to see their software frequently "invaded" (through no fault of their own one assume  :lol: ) by malware and spyware; and guess what, some time ago, some users discovered that the Epic Games Store launcher was tempering with files they had absolutely no reason to access whatsoever. Mainly, the localconfig.vdf file from Steam was targeted, copied into the Epic Games Store folder and encrypted. Nobody knows exactly if the file was transmitted to Epic or not. Tim Sweeney did not deny the fact but he said that it was a leftover of the first version of the Epic Games Launcher and the file was only supposed to be used to import Steam Friends within the Epic Game Store after the user gave their consent. But when some user asked "then why copy it before the user's consent?" the answer was silence... Steam on their part launched an investigation into the matter and strictly pointed that the localconfig.vdf file (which contains the list of your games, your Steam friends and session tokens related to your Steam session) was a private file only present on the user's computer and that beside the user and Steam no third party had any right or need whatsoever to access it.

Not to mention that obtaining the list of your games or Steam friends can be done in a very legal way with your authorization passing by the Steam API. GOG does it with their Steam program which allow users to have some of the games they bought on Steam being duplicated for free into their GOG account. Steam is OK with that because they have the control of their own API (the use of which they can revoke whenever they want in case of abuse) and users are OK because GOG cannot do anything if they don't give their consent first hand. The whole thing that happened between the Epic Game Store and Steam files is no less than spyware level stuff. Reason given by Sweeney to not pass by the legal process... Apparently the Steam API would not be secure enough... Sure better to ensure yourself of the "security" of the process Tim, taking care of not saying a word to Steam or Epic Store users until after the whistle was blown...

Am I the only one to find worrying that an American company starts to employ the tactics of a Chinese mega-corporation about one year after having been bought (or rather after having their control bought)? For all I know, Tim Sweeney could just be a mouthpiece for Tencent and Epic Games a front, the final purpose being for Tencent to implant themselves on the North American and European market swiftly and try to grab as much money as they can. After all they own most of the gaming industry in China, it was time for them to move on.

Point is: Tim Sweeney would appear  more honest to me if there wasn't Tencent behind him. And if it wasn't for Tencent, I doubt Sweeney would have gone for the whole"'let's be a pain in the ass for gamers and buy exclusivities everywhere we can in order to beat both Steam and gamers into submission" thing knowing how that would fly on our western market.

Sure people, Tencent/Epic don't remove your right to buy a gun (sorry, "game"), they just remove you the right to choose where.