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News March 3, 2022

Sony-backed Epic Games acquires direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp

Executive Editor, B2B & Print
Sony-backed Epic Games acquires direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp

Epic Games, the powerhouse behind popular gaming hits Fortnite and Unreal Engine, has acquired direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp for an undisclosed sum.

Epic Games said it plans to make Bandcamp a key part of its future to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for “content, technology, games, art, music and more”.

Bandcamp – which positions itself as a fiercely independent player – said it is business as usual under its new owners, with CEO Ethan Diamond continuing to lead the company.

“I’m excited to announce that Bandcamp is joining Epic Games, who you may know as the makers of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, and champions for a fair and open Internet,” Diamond said.

“Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team.

“The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model (where artists net an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over how you offer your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned, and the Daily will keep highlighting the diverse, amazing music on the site.”

During the pandemic, it rolled out a number of initiatives to help indie artists around the world.

Bandcamp’s new owner, Epic Games, has been making big moves in music over recent years.

Among these are collaborations with musicians like Travis Scott, Tash Sultana and Tones And I.

It also acquired Harmonix in November, creator of the popular Rock Band and Dance Central.

When announcing that purchase, Harmonix said it wanted to “develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite”, and continue to support existing titles including Rock Band 4.

Epic Games has also purchased a stake in music-licensing startup Lickd, given a grant to music metaverse startup Ristband, and added an in-game radio station to Fortnite based on Silk Sonic.

Based in North Carolina, Epic Games is backed by Sony Music – which has invested some US$450 million – resulting in an equity valuation of US$28.7 billion at the time of investment.

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