Epic Games buying Bandcamp is another death for the indie internet

Epic Games just bought Bandcamp, making it one of the smallest game acquisitions in a year that, just two months later, is already resonating with the shrill gears of capitalism. It’s not as monumental, and it won’t have such far-reaching consequences as Microsoft buying Activision, but it’s in the same sphere of monopolization, commodification, and obliteration of spaces allowing indie art to thrive. .

When big companies buy out smaller companies, a small part of the internet‘s creativity, ambition and raw punk side dies. It can be a lucrative payday for those involved in building these small businesses, for those who have worked hard to build something big, something that has grown from nothing to one of the most unique spaces on the internet. , but we all lose a bit. Epic Games says Bandcamp will remain independent, but that can never be true in acquisitions like this. Even if it goes on most of the time as if nothing had happened, when a multinational company signs the checks and asks for progress reports, it will change your decision-making.


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What was most disturbing about all of this was the statement released by Bandcamp confirming the acquisition. “I’m thrilled to announce that Bandcamp is joining Epic Games, who you may know as the creators of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine, and champions of a fair and open internet.” I mean what? The first two, of course. You hear Epic, you think Fortnite. But “champions of a fair and open Internet”? Who on earth knows Epic Games like that, besides Epic themselves? In Bandcamp’s very first paragraph following the acquisition, Epic is already using the company as a spokesperson.

use a heavy shotgun

I know this refers to the Epic vs Apple case, and you might even agree that Epic is right. But no human being, at least none in charge of Epic’s press division, knows Epic games as the “champions of a fair and open internet.” That’s why the very next line, “confirming” that Bandcamp will “continue to operate as a standalone marketplace and music community,” is impossible to believe.

Then there’s the question of what the acquisition actually means. It’s doubtful that Epic bought Bandcamp just to let it continue operating as usual, but with the money going into Epic’s pockets instead. I can believe Sony bought Bungie to do this, though I also expect a PS exclusive and some form of Destiny movie to materialize in the long run. We could see cutting-edge synergy, with Epic integrating the music licensing and general music capabilities and logistics that Bandcamp offers into the gaming space. The Fortnite concerts are proof that Epic sees a musical future for the game. , seeing the potential of the young, engaged and involved audience of the gaming sphere.

titan punch of fate

There could also be metaverse ambitions on the horizon, and after Epic Games’ acquisition of Harmonix, Epic seems to be heading towards something. The problem with planning the metaverse is that no one seems to be able to define what it is, and so it’s hard to get excited about what’s little more than a corporate buzzword. right now. Does this mean something to do with virtual reality? Something to do with NFTs? NFTVR? Are these just team meetings, only worse? Is it game-specific, business-specific, or both? No more? No one can define it, give me a meaningful example of it, or even tell how it will improve the online experience or change anything, so there’s nothing to get excited about.

Epic Games, champion of a fair and open internet, just killed off an indie corner of it by buying it out, presumably for a metaverse project it still can’t explain, define, or create. I can’t wait to write another one of these in a few months when Valve redeems the itch, and by ‘look forward’ I mean ‘fuckin’ terror with every fiber of my being’.

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