Epic Games Sells Ownership of Bandcamp, Leading to Layoffs

Epic Games has slashed 16% of its workforce, also selling Bandcamp, which the company acquired in March 2022. On Thursday (September 28), the Fortnite developer announced that 830 employees would no longer be involved with the company, selling Bandcamp to music licensing platform Songtradr. Epic Games’ kids digital advertising business, SuperAwesome, will also become an independent brand under its own property.

“For a while now, we’ve been spending way more money than we earn, investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators,” wrote Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. “I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic.”

Sweeney continued, “The growth is driven primarily by creator content with significant revenue sharing, and this is a lower-margin business than we had when Fortnite Battle Royale took off and began funding our expansion. Success with the creator ecosystem is a great achievement, but it means a major structural change to our economics.”

In a separate statement, Songtradr said it “will continue to operate Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share.” The news of the acquisition received an outcry on social media from independent music artists and fans, some with concerns about the continuation of Bandcamp Friday, which began in 2020.

In 2022, Bandcamp and Epic Games merged to “build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more,” also maintaining its online music database.

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