The Epic Games Store may have hit a snag in its ongoing quest to topple Steam. While it's definitely doing all it can to prove it's a worthy alternative or even a successor to Valve's marketplace, it may also be watching you when you least expect it.
People online have noticed that the Epic Games Store seems to be running some sketchy processes in the background while it's open on your computer. This post by Reddit user notte_m_portent details the various things that the Store does in the registry of their PC. According to the Reddit post, the Epic Games Store created a lot of traffic and was trying to access the directories of other applications.
In the same post, someone in the comments also revealed that the Epic Store seemed to be trying to get into their Steam directory. This has made people feel uneasy, as they now believe that Epic is trying to gather data from Steam users in order to get a leg up on the competition.
Epic has also issued a statement on the spyware accusations. Regarding why it seemed like the launcher was seemingly gathering info from Steam, Epic's Dan Vogel said that this was because the Epic Games Store gives everyone the option to import their friends list from Steam. Vogel also said that any apparent tracking was due to the fact that the store makes sure that games that are currently being used don't automatically update, and also due to its Support-A-Creator program, which uses a tracking pixel.
The other concern is with the company that holds a significant stake in Epic, the massive Chinese corporation Tencent. Tencent tends to have its hands in a lot of gaming companies' pockets. Many online are speculating that if Epic is attempting to track its users and gather data, it may be doing so on behalf of Tencent and the Chinese government. Vogel made sure to refute these claims as well, assuring everyone that no information is ever given out.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney also popped into the Reddit thread to comment on the matter. He stated that he appreciated the independent inquiry, but made sure to double down on the fact that Epic isn't stealing data from Steam or Epic Game Store users. He also stated that his team would be working on changes so that the launcher would only access the Steam files if the user chose to import their friends lists.
It's never a good thing when an online site or storefront needs to come out and assure everyone that it isn't spying on them. For now, let's just hope that Epic is being honest and upfront about this situation, as spying on and data mining customers isn't the best way to maintain a healthy business.