Well, this sucks.

In case you haven’t heard the news, Bandcamp is being acquired by Epic.

The title of this piece really undersells how I feel about this. This really, really fucking sucks. Because Bandcamp is integral to my whole music strategy, especially coming hot off the heels of my last piece, “You Don’t Own It.”

Epic used to be a fine company. They’ve been behind some of my favorite games, like Unreal (which was also helped along by Digital Extremes, too). But after Fortnite BR became a thing, I feel like Epic has begun to just rapidly circle the drain as far as my opinion of them goes. They got a taste of some huge money, and now they’re acting like a company who thinks their shit doesn’t stink, and are throwing money around to either try and stay relevant, or fuck other people over in the name of “being fair and open”. 

This is the same company who–when launching their own game store, they opted not to compete based on bringing something innovative to the table, or doing anything for you or me outside of giving away free games. Rather, they opted to buy exclusivity rights for games out from under people. So games like Shenmue III? Metro Exodus? These games were already in pre-order stages with promised Steam codes, and Epic just…swoops in, throws their money around, and suddenly those Steam codes are Epic codes and people are pissed.

They did this to games that weren’t even up for pre-order, but had already been announced, too! Epic paid money to have those releases on Steam delayed just to give Epic a few months to a year of exclusivity, even as those companies and developers had already committed to a Steam release on launch day. Way to go, Epic. You made your name on screwing people over.

Their insistence that Fortnite is some sort of essential service, kinda like an essential public infrastructure, is also just maddening. They know that Fortnite is their cash cow and are trying to convince everyone and anyone that it’s some metaverse platform that will be eternal and such and it’s just…ew. No thanks.

They continue arguing that they’re fighting for the developer, to make sure people are paid fairly and that their moves are intended to bust monopolies. Which must be why they keep buying up developers like Psyonix and then requiring you to join the Epic ecosystem to continue playing, right? And the whole angle that Epic is fighting for YOU is also an utter crock of shit as well, because Tim Sweeney himself said if Apple had offered Epic a special deal on the App Store, he would have taken it. Ha, fuck you! Got mine!

So much for looking out for others. Epic is just putting up this facade that they care about you so they gain supporters in the court of public opinion all the while they just want Apple and the like knocked down a peg because they want more money. If Apple just turned and gave Epic a 10% tax on the App Store you bet your ass Epic would drop that facade faster than you can say Unreal. Liars.

I could write a novel about how utterly garbage Epic have become as of late but I’ll spare you.

I have no idea why they purchased Bandcamp. I know in the press release Bandcamp’s CEO goes on about how Epic is fighting for a fair and open market (LOL) and that’s why they joined up. All I can say to that is…oh, you sweet summer child. Epic. does. not. care. about. you. Once they get Fortnite back on the App Store with a lower commission you bet your ass they’re going to drop their “fair and open” act so fast you’ll need the Slow-Mo Guys to actually see it happen in real time.

My hope is that Epic will keep their fingers out of the proverbial pie and continue letting Bandcamp run without forcing Bandcamp users into Epic’s ecosystem, but given how their handling of Rocket League and Fall Guys has panned out, I’m not holding my breath.

This sucks major because Bandcamp is one of the best places to buy music from artists AND get it in excellent quality (FLAC). It’s how I buy all my music, only going for the iTunes Store if it isn’t on Bandcamp. If Epic kills Bandcamp with their stupidity I am going to be incensed beyond all belief.

(There’s also the whole thing about how Epic actually supports NFTs and such, which are a huge middle finger to artists allowing shitty opportunists to profit off stuff that isn’t actually theirs. Yay.)