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SOURCE 1: https://twitter.com/TimSweeneyEpic/st…
SOURCE 2: https://www.usgamer.net/articles/the-…
SOURCE 3: https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoint…
SOURCE 4: https://forum.facepunch.com/general/b…
SOURCE 5: https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-t…
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Following games industry news will know by now that a sizable crowd of pc players players are not particularly thrilled about the epic game store when it was first announced will recall was actually pretty well received this was back when the focus of the store was on providing benefits like significantly higher pay cuts to developers free games every month to consumers and the prospect of valve storefront finally getting some much needed competition. But optics surrounding epic games store quickly took a turn for the worse. When people realized.
How many basic features the launcher was lacking which made the rampant signing of exclusivity deals to gate off third party titles away from the presently far superior steam. Particularly contentious. Metro exodus was the first game to really kickstart the backlash against epic game store.
And then exclusivity. Deals for titles. Like phoenix point outer worlds and borderlands.
3. Only served to add fuel to the fire in the midst of all that backlash. There is one noteworthy narrative against the storefront.
That’s brewed over the last few months that the epic launcher is spyware and that epics close relationship with tencent means that the epic game stores customer data could be obtained and sold to the chinese government you’d be hard pressed to find a forum thread or comment section. Discussing the epic store in which the notion of the storefront being spyware doesn’t come up the narrative has to become widespread enough that epic ceo. Tim sweeney.
Felt like it was time for him to take to twitter to address this issue with the hopes of putting the theory to bed in response to notions that the epic store is being used to spy on people here’s what tim had to say i support everyone’s right to complain about tech industry. Stuff epic 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. I’m the controlling shareholder in epic games and have been since 1991. We have a number of outside investors.
Now 10 cent. Is the largest. All of epics investors are our friends and partners none can dictate decisions to epic.
None have access to epic customer data tencent is a chinese company in 1998. Ceo ponemah and the other co founders played a lot of unreal tournament back then and visited epic in the early 2000s in. 2012 epic was looking to move to online.
Games and we invited 010. In as an investor to help us. I’ve never regretted.
It and the recent anti china rage doesn’t change that even slightly as it’s completely unfounded epic has only had positive interactions with tencent at all levels. All of epics. Big decisions are made here in the usa in a ceo.
I’m a hundred percent 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 attached to this series of tweets is a link to an article by website us gamer with the headline the epic game store spyware how a toxic accusation was started by anti chinese sentiment in it. The editor is quick to point the finger at one particular reddit post.
That’s gained a lot of traction in which user mot. Important accused epic game store of being spyware that sends information to the chinese government. I won’t go through the whole post as i don’t have the technical knowledge to corroborate or argue against any of these points.
But there is talk of stuff like the epic store and numerating processes on your computer accessing dll’s in the directories of some applications reading root certificates. Poking at keys and cookies taking advantage of a file called tracking j s. And more here’s the thing.
Though not long. After the reddit post went live a user from forum facepunch going by the name matt disproved. The accusations levied against epic point by point attributing the misinformation in the reddit post to ignorance in regards to how software actually works.
Matt emphasized that he’s not rooting for epic game store. And that he believes. It is that it’s slow that it lacks many features compared to the competition.
And that the exclusivity deals feel like a kick in the balls. But he was adamant that claims of epics client being spyware are complete nonsense before posting his analysis in it he first began by pointing out that the reddit user. Admits he is an amateur on multiple occasions and matt says that this in regards to the epic store numerating processes on your computer.
Matt responded with this this isn’t epic game store numerating processes. This is literally how tools like proc mon and fiddler work. They have injected themselves into the running process fiddler and proc mon for those who don’t know our tools used to debug and monitor activity of software and these were used by the reddit user to get a read on the epic game stores.
Behavior turns out one of the things he found suspicious was just programs like fiddler and proc mon doing their thing pretty much sets the tone for the level of knowledge and expertise the reddit user has when it comes to this stuff when it comes to software from there in response to the epic game store trying to access dll’s in the directories of certain applications matt responded with this this is how shared libraries work on windows and once again in this example he’s showing fiddler. Which is something he has injected into epic game store. Nothing here then in regards to epic game.
Store. Reading root certificates. A lot matt stated quote it is a launcher based around a web browser.
This is how http works of course it has to check your available certificate authorities every other electron application including discord and steam do this this goes on a couple more times with matt noting that the stuff being noted as suspicious is how software if this nature. Works by default. Even suspicions surrounding the file labeled tracking dot j.
Tracker every single website. You go on including steam has this everywhere. This is nothing new nothing dodgy.
They just want to know how many users are viewing product pages and their retention etc. Now below all that matt did admit that there is some merit to concerns about how epic games store accesses steams local config dot. Vdf file.
Which contains things like steam accounts. You’ve logged into on a given pc. Your entire friends list your steam groups and your games and settings for them this first came to light when a user from forum.
Meta counsel. Published. A following post in which it was noted that epics launcher searches for steam.
Install and then proceeds to get a list of files on your steam cloud as well as create an encrypted copy of local config pdf however. According to matt even this has its fair share of misinformation being spread around stating the following. There is a lot more in the file.
All unencrypted. The file includes login tokens also which means the file really should be encrypted and whilst the file does contain huge amounts of information. There is no evidence that epic game store client uses anything other than the bare minimum in their import.
Friends feature. This is one of the usages of the file listing your steam accounts from the pc. The secondary usage is then generating hashed copies of your steams friend ids not even full versions they’re making hashes.
However. It is required to be done at installer time so that the client itself does not require administrative privileges now recall that epic ceo. Tim sweeney already addressed this matter when he admitted in a reddit response that epic should only access.
The local config dot vdf file after the user chooses to import steam friends attributing the mistake to it being a remnant left over from their rush to implement social features in the early days of fortnight and assuring that this will be fixed. Now that the issue has come to the forefront. He also explained that they don’t use steams api.
Because they were to minimize the number of third party libraries. They include in their products out of security and privacy concerns. But many users still found it suspect that epic was employing some strange workaround involving accessing files outside of their purview.
Without permission rather than simply making use of the official api provided by steam. Even valve found this strange stating in a response to website bleeping computer that the local config dot. Vdf file is a private user data stored on the user’s home machine and that it’s not meant to be used by other programs or uploaded to any third party services.
So the way epic is going about implementing steam importation features is very much suspect and raising concerns. But the immediate conclude epic’s client is spyware for the chinese government is far from ideal as there’s no tangible evidence suggesting. This is indeed the case matt’s post finally concluded by showing exactly what sort of data is being collected and sent to epic posting his own analysis.
Images from programs like fiddler’s and the bottom line was that there is nothing truly unusual or malicious going on here’s the closing statement that matt provided. I’m in no way denying that there are a lot of valid criticisms to hold epic. But i don’t think it’s right for people to keep spreading false truths.
Just to further push the narrative. They want all i want is for people to be able to discuss actual issues. Without the same people spewing that epic game store is spyware for the chinese government yeah i myself am inclined to agree with this outlook.
There are many understandable complaints about the epic game store. But mixing misinformation into arguments will only lurk and diminish the discussion. Now one article.
Many people point to when discussing the relationship between epic and 10 cent. Is this one right here from the wall street. Journal.
Reporting that major companies like. 010. Are being forced to help the chinese government spy on its people.
It’s no secret that the chinese government engages in shady and downright orwellian tactics to rule with an iron grip and with 010. Having close ties to said government. The suspicion is that there might be some crossover with epic.
However ceo. Tim sweeney has been adamant about refuting those claims. Emphasizing in his latest string of tweets that he’s the controlling shareholder of epic games that tencent cannot dictate decisions to epic or access customer data.
And that epics partnership with tencent has been nothing but positive. Tim provided. A similar response to a user who drew his attention to the wall street journal.
Article. Reporting tenzin’s role in helping. The chinese government spy on its people.
Which he had this to say please see the definitions in the terms of service epic data is held by epic. And it’s wholly owned international subsidiaries. Which exist because we operate and accept payments in many countries 10 cent.
Which they’re obligated to do for european citizens or as any company operating within. The european union or having european union clients. Their transparency is inadequate and its overall.
Given. Numerous fortnight data breaches. There is indication that epics lack of regional pricing in certain countries has proven to be a huge inconvenience to many customers who want to buy games or get refunds.
There is no denying that epic game stores sorely lacking in many basic features and there are good reasons to feel frustrated by epics aggressive limited time exclusivity deals with third party games. But when it comes to accusations that there’s some conspiracy involving the chinese government all theories on that front seem to have been formulated on a foundation comprised of misinformation and paranoia that’s not to say there aren’t tangible concerns around tencent exerting their influence and all these different game companies jim sterling provided a noteworthy take in response to an excerpt from the us. Gamer.
Article which points out that 010. Also owns large portions of other companies. Like ubisoft.
Activision. Blizzard riot games. Paradox and more highlighting how none of these companies have faced widespread accusations of selling information to the chinese government despite having a similar relationship with 010 as.
Epic does but jim expressed that what really worries him is how 010 is planting its tendrils and all these different game companies. And how one corporation is gaining vast influence over a single industry points like that are definitely worth discussing but in terms of epic selling customer data to the chinese. The so called evidence being thrown around so far have no merits if tangible evidence surfaces and investigation unearths that there is shady dealings going on then it’s a discussion worth having.
But until then it’s best to stick to valid talking points surrounding the epic game stores lack of key features and the way. It’s bribing developers to get off games away from a far superior and far preferred platform as a consumer. I may not be fun of tim sweeney’s anti consumer business strategy.
But i can endorse him when he says quote. I also read and respectfully consider all dissenting arguments of fact and principle just please keep it real these are one man’s thoughts and opinions anyway. I’d love to hear what your take is on tim sweeney’s response to accusations that epic games.
Stories. Spyware for the chinese government in the comments below with that i would like to end. This.
News. Update. And discussion video.
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