Mar 2, 2022 - Technology

Fortnite designer Epic buys Bandcamp

Image courtesy of Epic Games

Fortnite and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games is acquiring indie online store and music platform Bandcamp, a deal announced Wednesday that will help further Epic's music ambitions.

Why it matters: The move gives Epic a stronger hold on its ability to incorporate music into the metaverse and its products.

  • Bandcamp has long been an important storefront for small artists; it allows them greater control over selling their music, including the ability to set sliding prices.

The details: In its announcement, Epic said Bandcamp will play an important role in Epic’s vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more.

  • "Fair and open platforms are critical to the future of the creator economy," said Epic.

Co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond said Bandcamp will work with Epic on international expansion and help to improve its features.

  • That includes "basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system and search and discovery features, to newer initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services."
  • Bandcamp will still be headed by Diamond and operate as a "standalone marketplace and music community."

Catch up quick: Epic's purchase is just the latest step in its music push.

  • In November, the company announced its acquisition of Rock Band developer Harmonix "to reimagine how music is experienced, created and distributed."

What they're saying:

  • "This an amazing company with an amazing service for music lovers and musicians," tweeted Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. "The Bandcamp team has been a constant source of inspiration by helping creatives and fans connect directly. Lots of exciting possibilities for the future."
  • Some artists are concerned about what the sale means for their future. On Twitter, one said it was "incredibly frustrating how little was said in either post," adding that the "huge question mark put on part of my income [is a] nightmare."
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