Tim Sweeney wants 'Neutral' gaming platforms

Yolanda Curtis
February 17, 2020

He brought up solid points like loot boxes being unprofessional or titles such as Fortnite evolving to have their own in-game economies.

It's a bit reductive to call Tim Sweeney just the "Fortnite boss" - his company Epic Games has a big business outside that game too, from the Unreal Engine development platform to game series like Gears of War and (via acquisition) Rocket League.

"I think we're seeing a lot of controversy around political censorship of social media, pressure from foreign countries on domestic companies about discourse, and to get through that, we as companies need to divorce ourselves from politics and say that that is for individuals to engage in". It allows friends on different platforms to play with one another, leading to longer playing times and more money spent on the games. That might seem like an odd stance for the chief of Epic Games to take. Pre-launch, the game included loot boxes which affected gameplay but after fans voiced their frustration, the loot boxes and microtransactions were removed.

Sweeney made these comments in his speech at the DICE 2020 Summit.

Later, confusingly, he turned to whether marketing teams should add politics to games: "We need to separate the creatives' commentary. from the marketing departments". The world is really screwed up right now: right now your political orientation determines which fast food chicken restaurant you go to, and that's really dumb. "There's no motive to pull divisive matters like that into gaming". Was Sweeney asserting that matches companies can create games with political messages, but shouldn't speak about them in any manner that recognizes their political content?

Free-to-download games often encourage players to buy virtual boxes, which contain an unspecified number of items.

Also in the talk, Sweeney praised cross-play (The ability for gamers to play with our players regardless of the console they're using) and shared hopes that there will be more cross-play games in the future. He denied implying that video games should be neutral, and said that he meant that any political messaging should only come from the people creating the video games, not from corporate overlords.

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