While we’re used to things like studios being bought and paid for as part of Epic’s Fortnite-fuelled crusade against companies like Apple and Valve, the company spent the weekend buying something a little more unexpected: ArtStation, a site that anyone who has ever read our Fine Art feature will be more than familiar with.
After the demise of CGHub back in 2014, ArtStation emerged as basically the site for anyone working professionally in the entertainment business. So if an artist worked in video games, it was almost a certainty they maintained a portfolio on ArtStation, which is why almost every Fine Art post would contain a link to the site.
So what does the sale actually mean? For artists, as you’d expect given Epic’s developer-friendly rates elsewhere, they stand to make a lot more money on the site via a huge reduction in seller fees (ArtStation has a commercial element where folks can sell things like tutorial videos and photo reference packs), while ArtStation’s in-house educational videos are going to be free for the rest of 2021 as well.
For Epic, they’re going to be leveraging the site’s popularity and structure to do a lot more Unreal Engine-related stuff, while for everyone else, ArtStation is going to “continue to operate as an independently branded platform”, meaning for most artists the look and function of the site will, for now at least, remain exactly the same.
There’s more on the purchase here.