On Wednesday, Epic Games announced it had acquired the popular indie music marketplace known as Bandcamp.
While Epic Games is known for its video games such as Fortnite and Rocket League, the company stated it wants to continue to expand its “creator marketplace ecosystem for content,” with music, art and technology.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the Bandcamp team to Epic Games,” Steve Allison, Vice President and General Manager, Store at Epic Games said. “Bandcamp has built an incredible community and business where up and coming artists can succeed thanks to 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 supporting creators across all media and enabling them to connect directly with their fans.”
The partnership has created worry within the independent music community, with artists expressing concern over what the acquisition will mean for them.
“Really couldn’t tell ya what Epic’s whole angle here is,” EDM artist Vektroid said through Twitter. “Maybe this is just about expanding outside of games; maybe they do want to be a good steward here, even if only for PR’s sake. But consider me suspicious at best until we start to see the results for ourselves.”
While Vektroid said she was considering taking her music off of Bandcamp and a campaign to boycott the service have begun, music producer 2 Mello offered an opposing perspective, asking the public to continue supporting artists on Bandcamp.
“Bandcamp shows the huge effect a small amount of core supporters have on artist income,” 2 Mello said on Twitter. “It shows that sustenance is available to those not massively popular or connected. It’s ideal, and it shouldn’t get bigger, but it is. All I ask today is for you to please not stop using it.”
Cofounder and CEO of Bandcamp, Ethan Diamond, said the acquisition will not lead to changes in the platform’s features and uses.
“Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team,” Diamond said in a statement, Wednesday. “The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model ….”
Diamond added that the partnership allows the platform to expand internationally, as well as further develop how it presents its features such as with merch tools, payment systems, search tools, live streams and vinyl pressing.
“Since our founding in 2008, we’ve been motivated by the pursuit of our mission, which is to help spread the healing power of music by building a community where artists thrive through the direct support of their fans,” Diamond said. “Epic ticks all those boxes. We share a vision of building the most open, artist-friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we’ll be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be compensated fairly for their work.”