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Launcher Epic Games quietly collects information about the players from Steam

Epic Games has explained why it launcher takes the information of gamers from Steam.

The ambiguous attitude of gamers to the Epic Games Store is primarily due to the sudden “migration” of games in the new shop of Steam. But that’s not the only reason, for example, recently players have come to the conclusion that why the launcher is looking for on the user’s computer Steam folders, scans them and sends the contents of some data in Epic Games. A few hours later comments on this issue was given by the head of the company Tim Sweeney (Tim Sweeney) and Vice-President of development AT Daniel Vogel (Daniel Vogel).

The rumor originated on Reddit, and later received reinforcements thanks to the user ResetEra under the name Madjoki. He found that immediately after the launch, the launcher determines the number of running processes and tries to access DLL files and root certificates. The program searches the computer for folders Steam, reads the header in these files (encrypted contents) is a list of files from Steam Cloud (they contain conservation). He also makes an encrypted copy of localconfig.vdf (there are ID friends and the settings of some games). This data the program writes to C:ProgramDataEpicSocialBackupRANDOM HEX CODE_STEAM ACCOUNT ID.bak. In files Epic Games Store Madjoki found your Steam ID and information about the latest run of games in the service Valve. The gamer claims that the resulting information is sent to Epic Games. With the assumptions agreed by the expert on the “hardware” PC Gamer Jarred Walton (Jarred Walton).

Vogel confirmed that the launcher scans the running processes, but only to games that are currently running, not started to be updated. Copy localconfig.vdf, according to him, is then created so that the user can import friends list from Steam. File identifiers is sent to Epic Games only if you use this feature, that is, with the consent of the player.

In addition, the program regularly sends information about the configuration of the PC, however, this point is reflected in the privacy policy. Finally, some data are collected through tracking.js to Support A Creator (program to support content creators, helping to promote the game) and Unreal Editor. Cookies, says Vogel, the launcher does not touch: the majority of the elements of its interface created on the basis of Chromium, and the users took over spying “the normal process of launching the browser”.

A comment on Reddit left and Sweeney. He explained that copying and forwarding of data from localconfig.vdf is a legacy feature: she allegedly remained since those times when the developers have introduced social features in Fortnite soon after its launch. According to Sweeney, the launcher accesses the Steam files directly, not via their API, to minimize the use of third-party libraries and not to provoke suspicion in the collection of personal data. The head admitted that he is guilty in the situation, and promised that in operation of the launcher will make the necessary changes.

Meanwhile, players continue to criticize publishers and developers entering into exclusive contracts with Epic Games Store. This week in negative comments drowned the Creator of X-COM Julian Gollop (Julian Gollop) who suddenly announced that his new game, Phoenix Point will be sold only in this store in the first year. On the basis of information received from the Manager on public relations of Snapshot Games, a Reddit user Revisor007 suggested that one conclusion of this agreement, the Studio has received about $2 million Thanks to this, the project will pay off even if you cancel all pre-orders, he said.

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