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Epic Games has acquired the 3D content marketplace Sketchfab, as it needs a ton of art to fill up the metaverse that Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney loves to talk about.
Sketchfab makes it easy to discover, edit, buy, and sell 3D content directly through a web-based service and it is home to four million 3D assets. All of that content has been collected since Sketchfab started in 2011. And now Epic Games will cut the royalty fees to 12% for the 5 million creators who buy and sell content on the Sketchfab marketplace.
The technology has integrations across every major 3D creation tool and publishing platform and is compatible across all major browsers and operating systems, on both desktop and mobile, Epic Games said.
With this move, Epic and Sketchfab will be able to make 3D, AR and VR content more accessible and grow the creator ecosystem, which are critical to an open and interconnected metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
Epic Games said it will continue to enable all of the integrations in place with Sketchfab’s technology, as well as ensure the company’s offerings will remain compatible with each of the different tools and platforms they support. This includes “wholeheartedly supporting Unity and other engines,” Epic Games said. Sketchfab will continue to operate as an independently branded service while collaborating closely with the Unreal Engine team.
One of the things the ownership change means is that Epic Games will reduce Sketchfab’s store fees to 12%. Epic Games charges a 12% royalty in its Epic Games Store, in contrast to the usual 30% charged by other game marketplaces.
“The Sketchfab team has done an incredible job opening up the world of 3D content on the web and enabling anyone to edit and publish content online,” said
Marc Petit, the general manager of Unreal Engine, said in a blog post that Sketchfab has done a great job opening up the world of 3D content on the web and enabling anyone to edit and publish content online. As the adoption of real-time 3D technology continues to grow, demand for web-based solutions will only increase, he said.
And Sketchfab CEO Alban Denoyel said in a blog post the company build Sketchfab to empower a new era of creativity and provide a service for creators to showcase their 3D work. Joining Epic will help the company accelerate the development of Sketchfab and its online tools, while helping Epic to build the metaverse.
Denoyel said the company started a decade ago and launched the first web-based 3D player on the market, and became one of the leading services for publishing and finding 3D content. He said Sketchfab will remain an independently branded service with the same mission and vision, while working closely with Epic Games.
The company started collaborating with Epic earlier this year through an Epic MegaGrant. The company’s tools are already integrated with various Epic Games products like RealityCapture and ArtStation. And Sketchfab Plus is now available for free, which means that larger file sizes now carry no cost and more frequent uploads. Users will be upgraded from Plus to Pro automatically.
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