Epic was responding to a post on the subreddit of the Phoenix Point game, which was recently revealed to be an Epic Games Store timed exclusive. Vogel also pointed to the open source code behind features like the anonymized hardware survey, the Unreal Editor, and the Chromium-based launcher UI, which he said cause most of what the original post identifies as "sketchy" app activity. But it's clear that Epic might not have been as ready as it thought to release a game launcher that could compete with Steam.
A handful of other features, like automated refunds, gifting, and an Android store are all listed as TBD.
Additionally, the launcher scans active processes to prevent any games that are now running from updating, and none of this information is sent to Epic, according to Vogel.
"The Steam Client locally saves data such as the list of games you own, your friends list and saved login tokens (similar to information stored in web browser cookies)", wrote Lombardi.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney eventually chimed in to explain that "the current implementation is the result of a system that was built quickly and then rapidly modified before launch".
You guys are right that we ought to only access the localconfig.vdf file after the user chooses to import Steam friends. "Since this issue came to the forefront we're going to fix it".
A Valve spokesperson told Bleeping Computer that it is "looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam". This file in particular contains friend data, games owned on the account and when each title was last booted. The encryption is not to cover this fact up, but to secure it and send hashed friend IDs when the import process has been executed.
Still, Sweeney acknowledged that Epic making local access to Steam files without direct permission might justifiably rub some users the wrong way.