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Epic's CEO slams loot boxes, pay-to-win and closed mobile platforms

Published: 23:28, 12 February 2020
Epic Games
photo showing epic games ceo tim sweeney in a gray hoodie
Tim Sweeney

Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney delivered quite the keynote speech at the Dice Summit in Las Vegas, where he slammed loot boxes, pay-to-win mechanics, closed-off mobile platforms, and even called Google's and Facebook's business models 'customer adversarial'.

"Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of precedents announced as ground rules of industry. We need to step back and take stock of them", he said.

Now, there's nothing nefarious about a company trying to maximise profits - it is when they do so with zero accountability that things start getting sinister overtones.    

Sweeney stressed that games eventually evolve into communication platforms, with their own communities and economies, which is why the industry will have to take responsibility for its actions. 

"We have to ask ourselves, as an industry, what we want to be when we grow up? Do we want to be like Las Vegas, with slot machines ... or do we want to be widely respected as creators of products that customers can trust? I think we will see more and more publishers move away from loot boxes", he said.

Cross-play once again popped up as Sweeney's vision of the future of gaming, as he believes in "equal access to all customers", rather than "private wall guard or private monopoly".

He even went as far as calling Facebook and Google "businesses that profit by doing their customers harm", by which he meant providing them with services in exchange for private data.

Epic Games Streamer Ninja as depicted in Fortnite Fortnite, Ninja

Additionally, he mentioned that mobile gaming platforms will have to move away from the adversarial model, and give publishers freedom to freely put products on their marketplace. You may recall that Fortnite has been rejected for using a different payment method, but he's certain this will have to change.  

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