It might seem like a very unlikely pairing, but the Bandcamp acquisition aligns with Epic’s growing ambitions for the metaverse as well as CEO Tim Sweeney’s intention to create a more closely aligned version of the internet. on the company’s vision for Fortnite.
Epic has acquired a number of companies over the past few years, thanks to the success of Fortnite, which hints that it’s focused on building a small empire at the intersection of entertainment, technology and media. social media, including social video app Houseparty and Guitar Hero and Developer rock band Harmonix.
Sweeney, often in public statements both in the antitrust lawsuit against Apple and on Twitter, has expressed concern about Big Tech’s dominance and fear that such control will extend to the metaverse, which has become a sort of replacement for the next-generation version of the internet that combines social media, gaming, and entertainment with technologies like virtual and augmented reality.
With Bandcamp, Epic seems to have found a like-minded platform. It’s also a stellar reputation among musicians for treating creators fairly in a way that could benefit both Fortnite and Epic’s plans for the Metaverse, given the high cost of traditional media licensing deals.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the Bandcamp team to Epic Games,” Epic Game Store chief Steve Allison said in a statement. “Bandcamp has built an incredible community and business where up-and-coming artists can succeed through the direct support of their fans, with one of the best revenue models and terms in music. This aligns closely with Epic’s approach to support creators across all media and allow them to connect directly with their fans.
“In Epic, we have found a partner who believes as deeply as we do that the future of music, and of art itself, depends on creating fair and inclusive communities like the one our fans and artists have contributed. to build,” Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond said in a statement. “We’re excited to work alongside the Epic team to accelerate the realization of our mission and pursue our shared goal of empowering more creators in a fair and open way.”
The acquisition naturally raises questions about what it might mean for Bandcamp’s future. We don’t know yet if Epic will make any changes to Bandcamp’s revenue model (including Bandcamp Fridays) or what happens to the editorial operation of Bandcamp.
In one separate message on the company’s website and Twitter account, Diamond stated that Bandcamp would remain a stand-alone marketplace, with Diamond at the helm, and that there would be no immediate changes to Bandcamp’s business model. Diamond says Epic will primarily help Bandcamp for now with “core things like our album pages, mobile apps, merchandising tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, up to new initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services.”
“The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artist-driven revenue model (where artists make an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over the way you offer your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned and the Daily will continue to showcase the diverse and amazing music on the site,” Diamond wrote. “We share a vision for building the most open and most artist-friendly in the world, and together we can create even more opportunities for artists to be fairly compensated for their work.”