First Metro, now Borderlands 3 - the Epic Games Store is pulling no punches when it comes to exclusivity deals even for titles already confirmed for Steam. Though the company mentioned they don't want the business of games to be this cut throat, they haven't shown any signs of slowing down anytime soon, casuing the concerns over privacy theories to skyrocket. Now, Epic Games boss Tim Sweeney is addressing those worries head on.
"I support everyone's right to complain about tech industry stuff," began Sweeney in a lengthy Twitter thread. "Epic's store, with exclusive games and a spartan feature set, is a fine target for ire. But please help separate facts and opinions from the lies about spyware and foreign control."
He continued, saying:
Tencent is a Chinese company founded in 1998. CEO Pony Ma and the other co-founders played a lot of Unreal Tournament back then, and visited Epic in the early 2000’s. In 2012 Epic was looking to move to online games, and we invited Tencent in as an investor to help us.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 5, 2019
All of Epic’s big decisions are made here in the USA and as CEO I’m 100% responsible for them. I’m grateful for everyone who has spoken in support. I also read and respectfully consider all dissenting arguments of fact and principle. Just please keep it real.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 5, 2019
Of course, users still had a few concerns they wanted to address, such as Twitter user 'Gray-Fox' when talking about a recent artcile about Tencent:
Please see the definitions in the Terms of Services. Epic data is held by Epic and its wholly-owned international subsidiaries, which exist because we operate and accept payments in many countries. Tencent is an investor only. Tencent does not have access to Epic customer data.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 5, 2019
USGamer wrote an interesting piece about all of the conspiracies against Tencent, especially regarding Spyware claims. The site mentioned, "Anti-Chinese sentiments have deeper roots in the video game community too, as Chinese players are often associated with industries like gold farming in online MMORPGs like World of WarCraft and hacking. That's not to say hacking and gold farming aren't realities in China, but rather the current climate in politics and entertainment regarding China have been intersecting for some time.
As video game companies (and entertainment companies at large) look to court Chinese audiences and gain access to a lucrative market, there is a sentiment among video game consumers and movie goers that entertainment companies are cynically chasing the Chinese Yuan."
According to the Epic Games CEO, there isn't an illustrious communist plot, and the deals being made are occuring on the US side. Some of the theories have gone on to go completely into left-field by accusing Epic of selling entire identities, which just doesn't make sense.
Though Tencent has a very odd reputation in the gaming community for numerous reasons such as privacy issues and ethical standarts, a lot of the Epic Games Store heat seems to come from a mass majority "hating" on Fortnite because of its booming popularity.
We're going to be doing some more digging into this, so stay tuned.