Epic Games bought the ArtStation art portfolio site

ArtStation announced its acquisition by Epic Games last week. The website serves as a community for digital artists where they can share their portfolios and improve their craft with educational material. The popular community site will help Epic promote their developer tools.

Product promotion – As part of the acquisition, ArtStation says all learning materials on the site will be free for the remainder of 2021. For artists who sell work on the site, the commission ArtStation takes will drop to 12%.

ArtStation will continue to operate independently of Epic, but it’s not hard to imagine that its new owner will try to create more tutorials that take advantage of its products. Epic has acquired many critical industrial tools over the years, such as Quixel and Hyprsense; even if a digital artist doesn’t use Unreal Engine, Epic’s best-known product, they’re likely paying the company’s licensing fees for Something.

ArtStation allows digital artists to share their work and learn new skills from other industry professionals. Tom Maxwell / Entrance

Politics – The news follows a long day in court for Epic, where his counsel makes arguments in the ugly legal battle he is engaged in against Apple. Epic maintains that Apple exercises anti-competitive control over companies that attempt to sell their products to iOS users by requiring that all apps be sold through its App Store, where the company demands a 30% commission on sales.

Epic and its popular game Fortnite were started from the App Store last year after the company tried to bypass Apple’s in-app payment system and avoid paying fees. Apple maintains that Epic would not be successful without the App Store and that its fees are reasonable to cover its storefront maintenance costs. Epic in court today said that its 30% fee is disproportionate to its costs, and that thanks to its control over iOS, Apple is simply charging high fees to make more money.

Ultimately, every tech company is driven by their self-interest. Epic Games might claim that Apple has monopoly power over smartphones, but it also wants to make its own tools an industry requirement and similarly charge a fee for using them. Through its own Epic Games Store, it charges fees on game sales, although its own fees are less than half that of Apple at 12%. This type of business-to-business feud usually ends up making things better for customers.

ArtStation says it won’t be overwhelmed with content promoting Epic’s products and that users will pay less on their sales.