Fortnite’s Creators Acquires Bandcamp
What does this mean for both platforms?
Epic Games is foremost a game developer and distributor. Many people are understandably confused why they would want to acquire Bandcamp, an indie music distributor. What are they planning and why does Epic need Bandcamp? What does this mean for Fortnite account users and EGS customers?
A Likely Possibility
Since the pandemic began, Fortnite has become more than a game. It became a kind of social platform, somewhere to watch spectacular shows, and hang out with friends. Every time an event like that came around, the guns were holstered for a moment on the island, and everybody set out to enjoy the sights.
Fortnite virtual concerts were a hit. The lights, the music, and everything just made for one of the best experiences of the game. Each one was unique from the other, from the performing artists and the visuals used. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that won’t ever be repeated, so players are lucky if they were able to participate in one first-hand.
There is one thing that marred the experience, at least from a business perspective: the game is free, so anyone can just download the game to watch the concert. While a free concert is nice occasionally, this isn’t a sustainable long-term thing.
It is an artist’s job to sing and perform, so they’ll need compensation for this. ‘Exposure’ isn’t going to satisfy them. Besides, that’s just a lazy form of compensation that translates to ‘free’. At any rate, artists are less likely to perform in a free concert than a paid one.
Plus, those who program the lights and sounds should be compensated as well. There’s a ton of work going into concerts, whether virtual or. While Epic was able to swing three times for a Fortnite free concert, it was never supposed to be always free.
The acquisition of Bandcamp is likely to be related to this.
How Bandcamp Can Help
Bandcamp, as a music distributor, has a feature called Bandcamp Live. It was a way for musicians to recoup losses from canceled events. Yes, that means that these are paid concerts, even though they’re performed virtually.
If Epic wants to keep making virtual concerts in Fortnite, they can’t just keep on making them free. However, they also can’t make the game paid just for the event. It makes sense that they want a different system to make concerts paid while keeping the game accessible and free. Their profits from the Fortnite Item Shop and Battle Passes wouldn’t be enough, as well.
Also, both Epic Games and Bandcamp have the same business ethics. That is, they both want the creators they work with (whether music or games) to get what they’re due. In other words, they’re not businesses that try to gain profits from both the creators and the buyers.
That makes them a good pair to work on a Fortnite concert ticketing system as well as music distribution deal. Something like releasing soundtracks for the concerts, perhaps? Some other game soundtracks being available in Bandcamp can also be welcome. Now, this is just speculation, but it makes sense.
Epic Games does have a worrying streak in terms of acquisitions. While many would see this as a negative for Bandcamp, there’s a higher chance that this partnership will benefit both parties. After all, Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond promises that it will stay ‘a standalone marketplace and music community’. It’s unlikely that Epic Games will take over the platform completely.
Besides that, unless Epic is moving to music composing, this really is a weird move. This is the only explanation that makes some sense. However, we’ll only know what this is for when Epic’s project with them comes out. If it doesn’t interfere with Bandcamp’s operations too much, it’ll be good.
Take note that this makes sense, but it could still be wrong. Some other theories can also turn out to be right, or it could be the unlikeliest of reasons. Anyway, all we can do is to look forward to their collaboration, whatever form it may turn out to be.
While we wait, we can still enjoy Fortnite and other games in the Epic Games Store. Otherwise, discovering new music in Bandcamp is also a good pastime. Expecting nothing good from this move isn’t a productive use of time. You’re better off holding judgment until something comes out of the partnership.
So, Fortnite account holders, keep on enjoying the game!