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Can you make Windows Store apps with UE4?

They mention support for the Windows platform in the announcement about the new subscription model, but they don't say if that's just for the old "Desktop" apps or if it also includes being able to put your game on the Windows Store to be available to Windows RT devices too. Is there some documentation or a statement about this?

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asked Mar 19 '14 at 07:39 PM in Packaging & Deployment

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Curyous
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8 answers: sort voted first

The simple answer is "no": On Windows we support the win32 subsystem for desktop apps (both its 32-bit and 64-bit variants), but we don't support the WinRT subsystem that is in Windows 8.

This is something we might consider in the future, but we don't have any current plans.

Now, I apologize in advance for editorializing, but:

We at Epic are disappointed with Microsoft's choices with both WinRT and the Windows Store. WinRT is closed to prevent developers from shipping apps directly to consumers without Microsoft approval, so we greatly prefer the unrestricted desktop win32 subsystem. In a WinRT world, awesome services like Valve's Steam would be banished by decree!

And Microsoft has limited the Windows Store by excluding desktop apps -- including all major apps such as Epic's entire back-catalog of PC games and the Unreal Editor.

Our approach to this problem is to plead with Microsoft to change its policies.

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answered Mar 20 '14 at 05:23 AM

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Tim Sweeney STAFF
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avatar image iniside Mar 20 '14 at 06:04 AM

I almost completly agree about Microsoft and their current policy. Except for one thing. It is rather pointless to plead to them, it's better to ignore them and move towards open tech as much as possible. Nothing speaks better to big corporation than dropping sales.

They have some amazing tech, but recent movements and sever lack of development in what can be considered high performance computing (Direct3D), really is disappointing.

avatar image Curyous Mar 20 '14 at 06:54 AM

Thanks for your response and outlining your reasoning.

avatar image MinxiesDev Dec 18 '14 at 09:52 PM

Looks like Microsoft may be lifting the policy of WinRT only apps in Windows Store, come Windows 10 :) source: http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+to+Allow+NonMetro+Apps+Into+the+Windows+Store+Next+Year/article36674.htm

avatar image SamISar Mar 09 '15 at 06:48 AM

Is there any update on targeting Universal Apps?

avatar image Tim Sweeney STAFF Mar 09 '15 at 10:08 PM

No change. We're very happy that Microsoft has committed to supporting proper desktop apps in the Windows Store: http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+to+Allow+NonMetro+Apps+Into+the+Windows+Store+Next+Year/article36674.htm

That will be a great move, which eliminates all of Microsoft's artificially-constructed barriers to UE4 products being distributed in the Microsoft Store.

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"WinRT is closed to prevent developers from shipping apps directly to consumers without Microsoft approval, so we greatly prefer the unrestricted desktop win32 subsystem." So what, if it's a closed platform? Epic does support building to iOS, right? It's like building for the Mac desktop versus building for an iPad. I would seriously love to publish my touch-based, graphically rich games to the Windows store to be downloaded by Windows 8 tablet users and a regular x86 downloadable to be played with a keyboard/mouse. Publishing to the Windows Store also ensures a nearly piracy-free ecosystem.

Lastly, do you plan to support Windows phone?

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 08:16 AM

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neosphere
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avatar image Eduard Gotwig Feb 20 '15 at 10:38 AM

you can still jailbreak iOS...

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There are certainly customers on the Windows Store, but there are lots of other, more open ways to reach them such as Steam, Good Old Games, or even Origin. When looking at an effort such as WinRT attempting to close the currently-open Windows platform and Microsoft banning apps written for their own win32 desktop APIs from their Windows Store, we have to ask ourselves if this is going to make the world a better place and whether we ought to support or oppose it, even at the expense of opportunity and revenue.

Regarding Windows Phone, pasting from elsewhere:

We have been doing some work in this direction (implementing various levels of WinRT API support) and we want to have Windows Phone support eventually, but we're a very long way from having a ship-quality implementation. Right now our mobile efforts are really focused on iOS and Android based on their huge market sizes. We have a lot of work to do on these platforms before expanding to other mobile platforms such as WP.

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answered Mar 22 '14 at 04:16 AM

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Tim Sweeney STAFF
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We haven't heard anything from Microsoft about win32 support in Windows Store since their press releases announcing it back in April. Will check with our Microsoft contacts and see if there's any news.

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answered Dec 10 '15 at 06:41 PM

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Tim Sweeney STAFF
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I understand your point of view, but like Neosphere pointed out, the iOS Platform is not less a closed Platform than Windows Store / Windows Phone store. Maybe what brings frustration, is the fact that this closed Marketplace is not only available on smartphone or tablets, but also on traditionnal PCs which have a long history of openness in terms of app deployment.

Additionaly, DX11 apis on WinRT apps and games (Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 alike) are pretty much the same as on the desktop, so from a purely technical point of view, I don't really see these platforms as challenging (although maybe some third party tools / libraries supported by UE4 on the desktop might not be available on these platforms).

From a mobile game developer point of view, Windows Phone is becoming a very viable Platform to target, and trying to reach these devices begins to be worth the investment (and the market dynamic shows that it will become worther and worther). I would really like to see UE4 to get an even broader reach on mobile devices than today, and more than Windows Store, I think WP8+ would be a really nice addition.

Last but not least, I saw when building UE4 from the source code, that there is a WINRT and WINRT_ARM target Platform in the configuration manager (not exposed in the Unreal Editor UI, but present when you look in Visual Studio). To me it can have 2 different meanings :

  • Engineers at EPIC are working on it but it's not ready yet

  • Or Engineers at EPIC did some prorotyping to evaluate the work to achieve to target WinRT, decided that it was not worth it, but did not delete it from the source tree.

It is also possible that it has nothing to do with these 2 answers, but I'm feeling very curious about it :).

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 08:46 PM

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Simon Ferquel
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Hey all,

Since this is becoming more of a discussion, we encourage you to continue it on our forums. The forums provide a system for discussion more suited to back-and-forth discussion.

https://forums.unrealengine.com/

Best,

Ben Halliday

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 09:04 PM

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Here i see topic about Desktop apps in Windows Store.. so what is true then.. that it is possible or not.

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answered Dec 12 '14 at 01:50 PM

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lukas84
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Any updates on this subject?

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answered Jul 12 '15 at 07:10 AM

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sceek
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avatar image Tim Sweeney STAFF Jul 14 '15 at 06:47 PM

We would be very happy to support UWP in Unreal Engine 4 given a commitment by Microsoft that it will be maintained with the same level of platform openness as exists now for win32 apps, e.g. open installation, open distribution, open commerce, and open certification/signing of lawful non-malware content. We are in very active discussions with Microsoft on this topic, but haven't received a definitive answer.

At any rate, Unreal Engine 4 supports Windows 10 through the win32 subsystem, and as lukas84 points out it may be possible to distribute win32 apps on the Windows Store as described in http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsstore/archive/2012/06/08/listing-your-desktop-app-in-the-store.aspx.

avatar image sceek Jul 15 '15 at 05:12 AM

Awesome! then let us cross our fingers :)

avatar image MilanM Dec 10 '15 at 11:45 AM

How about now? :) Is it possible now to publish UE4 game on Windows store?

avatar image Tim Sweeney STAFF Dec 10 '15 at 06:41 PM

We haven't heard anything from Microsoft about win32 support in Windows Store since their press releases announcing it back in April. Will check with our Microsoft contacts and see if there's any news.

avatar image ColdSteel48 Apr 10 '19 at 11:03 PM

Nothing is changed right?

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