Game Development

Epic Games Ends Support for Older Windows Versions

Epic Games, a major player in the video game industry and the brains behind the popular Fortnite title, has announced a significant change to the compatibility of its Epic Games Launcher. Starting June 2024, the platform will cease to support older versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, specifically Windows 7, Windows 8, and the 32-bit version of Windows 10. This move marks a pivotal shift in the company’s approach to software updates and support, reflecting broader industry trends towards newer, more secure, and more capable operating systems.

Impact on Developers and Gamers

For developers and gamers who rely on the Epic Games Launcher for accessing, buying, and managing games, as well as utilizing Epic’s suite of development tools like Unreal Engine, this change has immediate implications. Those using older Windows versions or the less common 32-bit variant of Windows 10 will find themselves at a crossroads. While the Epic Games Launcher will technically still function on these systems past the cutoff date, it will no longer receive updates. This includes critical security updates, new feature additions, and potentially even content updates for the games themselves.

View Epic’s Announcement Here: Epic Games Launcher Ending Windows 7, 8, and 10 (32-bit) Support on June 2024

The absence of updates means that over time, the launcher’s performance may degrade, and new or existing features could cease to function correctly. Perhaps more critically, without ongoing security patches, the software could become vulnerable to exploits, putting users’ systems and data at risk.

Options for Affected Users

Affected users, particularly developers who may use the launcher for accessing development tools and resources, have several paths forward:

  1. Upgrade to a Supported Operating System: The simplest and most straightforward solution is to upgrade to a version of Windows that is still supported by Epic Games Launcher, specifically a 64-bit version of Windows 10 or Windows 11. This upgrade path ensures continued access to the latest features and security updates of the launcher and provides a more secure and robust operating environment.
  2. Switch to MacOS: For those who might be considering a switch, Epic Games Launcher continues to support macOS 10.13 or higher. This could be an opportune time for developers or gamers to explore Apple’s ecosystem, especially if they’re also interested in macOS-exclusive software or features. Please note if you use UEFN, this may not be an option for you.
  3. Use Alternatives Where Possible: For gamers, alternatives may include purchasing and playing games through other platforms that still support older operating systems, though this is less of an option for developers reliant on Epic’s development tools.
  4. Dual-Boot or Virtual Machine: Advanced users might consider setting up a dual-boot system with a newer version of Windows for use with the Epic Games Launcher, while maintaining their current setup for other needs. Alternatively, running a supported Windows version inside a virtual machine could be a solution, albeit with some performance overhead.

The Bigger Picture

This decision by Epic Games reflects a broader industry trend of phasing out support for older technology to focus on newer, more secure, and more efficient platforms. For developers, it’s a reminder of the importance of staying current with technology trends and system requirements. For gamers, it underscores the evolving nature of software and hardware compatibility.

While the discontinuation of support for older Windows versions may pose challenges for some, it also opens opportunities for upgrading to more modern, secure, and capable systems. For those affected, planning an upgrade or exploring alternative solutions sooner rather than later is advisable to ensure uninterrupted access to Epic Games’ products and services.


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