Epic Games is buying Bandcamp

Originally published at: Epic Games is buying Bandcamp | Boing Boing


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“The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model,” said Bandcamp co-founder/CEO Ethan Diamond

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Not the most intuitive acquisition on the surface, but since last April, Epic has bought ArtStation (online arts marketplace), SketchFab (3D model marketplace), Harmonix (the Rock Band company) and now Bandcamp. Just speculating, but that all sounds like a move towards a meta-style platform where people can buy and sell art that they create, all within that platform. Harmonix is a slightly odd fit, in that it isn’t a marketplace, but maybe would be for tools to create music within a virtual space.


I spend a lot of time and money on Bandcamp, so… hoping this doesn’t change things too much. But was not happy to read this earlier.


Yeah this feels weird, but all seems to fit the bill of two parts of what Epic’s working on:

  1. Metaverse stuff (they’re way ahead of Facebook, in that they have a functioning metaverse-like experience with Fortnite that people use. They’ve hosted virtual concerts people actually want to attend.)

  2. Store stuff - this could eventually expand Epic’s game store to be a music/art/game store

Bandcamp really cares about their artists and the fact that they were willing to be purchased by Epic at all seems to indicate that Epic does too, but time will tell.


I’ve bought/supported a handful of things off of bandcamp. I hope that doesn’t anything bad for the artists.


I think I hate this, but I’m curious. If the Gen Alpha crowd is more likely to spend time in a Fortnite virtual space than any meta-verse that Facebook comes up with, maybe having an open media platform embedded there wouldn’t be a bad thing? Pay the artist directly to get their tracks to soundtrack your Fortnite lobby? Virtual concert space?


Maybe I’m just cynical, but the degree to which Bandcamp cares about their artists is likely inversely proportional to the number of zeros on the check.


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I was a little disappointed by the sale because up to this point there hasn’t been a lot to indicate that bandcamp is a company purely chasing dollars.

They’ve turned down lucrative offers to sell before. Maybe Epic simply offered more zeroes, certainly possible!


Yeah, everything I’ve heard about Bandcamp in the past has been positive, I just don’t trust Epic at all.


They already have had virtual concerts in Fortnite, IIRC.

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I’m sorry. Virtual concerts are a fucking joke.


From what I understand, Bandcamp is the most equitable platform for musicians on the internet. Once a month they even have a “free Friday” where 100% of what ever you buy goes to the artists.

I am sure it isn’t perfect, but some of the various people I follow who are on it, seem to value it.

Hopefully Epic will continue striving for a balance of paying the bills to run the site, and allowing the artists to continue to profit.


I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t at least partially a spite purchase as a result of Epic’s crusade against Apple.
For folks who still like to “own” music (yes I realize there’s tons of wiggle room around that word when we’re talking about non-physical media), iTunes and Bandcamp seem to be the only real games in town anymore.
(with apologies to the various FLAC-store groupies, Beatport DJs, Amazon MP3 afficianados, etc.)


Everything you love and find valuable will be bought and sold back to you.
– capitalism –


I know Bandcamp is great for musicians, more than one artist I listen to has said something along the lines of," if you buy our album digitally, use Bandcamp and its also available elsewhere.", I just don’t see Epic continuing that.


Concerts might not be the right analogy because they tend to elicit this kind of response (I too felt this way initially) they’re more like immersive music videos.

Epic has had a lot of success with these. The demand exists and is very much not a joke. They’ve had 10 million people attend “events” like this before.


But why? Isn’t Epic’s whole beef with Apple and Google is that they take out too much of a percentage to act as the middle man between the creator and the customer?

But maybe you’re right, they will be total hypocrites about it. I just hope they are not.

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