In an interesting turn of events, one of today’s biggest online art communities has joined the Epic Games family.
Epic Games: From Partner to Owner of ArtStation
Epic Games has announced that it has acquired online art portfolio and community ArtStation, making two changes effective immediately:
- ArtStation Marketplace standard platform-holder fee lowered to 12 percent (the same amount that Epic takes from third-party game developers)
- ArtStation Learning subscribers get free access to the video streaming service for the remainder of the year
Those two things aside, however, it sounds like the ArtStation experience won’t change following the acquisition. ArtStation says that it’ll still be its own independently branded platform, just now backed by Epic’s resources.
“You can still use the platform as you do today, and we will continue to be open to all creators, across verticals, both 2D and 3D alike—including those that don’t use Unreal Engine,” the announcement reads.
A Timeline of ArtStation and Epic Games
The two companies have had a great working relationship since ArtStation launched in 2014. Shortly after the pandemic rocked the world last year, Epic supported the art platform with one of its coveted MegaGrants.
Back in March, ArtStation held ‘Unreal Days’ in partnership with Epic. It was an online showcase that displayed 3D artwork by artists that work in Epic’s game engine, Unreal Engine. Around the same time, Epic bought Mediatonic, the developer of Fall Guys.
Days after the showcase ended, NFTs started to take the online art community by storm, so ArtStation thought to capitalize. It announced the launch of its own NFT platform, before before receiving a ton of backlash on social media.
Ultimately, ArtStation ended up releasing a statement saying that it was “not the right time” for NFTs on the platform. We don’t know whether Epic will attempt to run ArtStation’s proof of concept again, or if the acquisition shelves those plans entirely.
Epic Games Seals Yet Another Acquisition
ArtStation joins Psyonix, Quixel, RAD Game Tools, and many others on Epic’s long list of acquisitions. While a lot of aspiring and professional artists on ArtStation aspire to work on AAA video games, we can’t say we saw this acquisition coming.
Epic has always deeply appreciated Unreal artists, but that seemed to be the extent of it. Suffice to say, we didn’t think they’d make a move to buy any company that wasn’t primarily focused on games.
Hopefully, this means more opportunities will open up in the game development industry for hobbyists looking to make a living out of art.