Epic Sketchfab acquisition - Main 1

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For Epic Games, the acquisition of Sketchfab confirms bold plans for immersive technology as part of the Unreal Engine developer’s vision for the metaverse

Quick read

➨ The acquisition of Sketchfab, which was announced earlier this week for an undisclosed sum
➨ Sketchfab makes it easy to discover, edit, buy, and sell 3D content directly through its web-based service
➨ Sketchfab will remain independently branded and maintain all of its integrations and compatibilities

The story

The Epic Games “vision for the metaverse”—referenced when the Unreal Engine developer completed a $1 billion round of funding earlier this year—includes bold plans for virtual and augmented reality, as the acquisition of Sketchfab demonstrates.

For those who are not familiar with Sketchfab, the company makes it easy to discover, edit, buy, and sell 3D content directly through its web-based service. It launched in 2021 in France.

Since then, Sketchfab has become a deep well of resources for creators and developers working in 3D, with around four million assets available. It also has integrations with content creation tools and compatibility with browsers and operating systems across desktop, mobile and headset.

Sketchfab is also a significant resource for the enterprise market as 3D content becomes a priority for ecommerce and marketing and advertising via its dedicated business solutions. There are opportunities to use assets for custom experiences for other use cases, including training, where immersion and realism are important to outcomes.

For Epic, the acquisition, which was announced earlier this week for an undisclosed sum, confirms bold plans for immersive technology as part of the Unreal Engine developer’s vision for the metaverse.

Epic says the acquisition will increase the accessibility of 3D and virtual and augmented reality content, while growing the creator and developer ecosystem, with a view to creating an open and interconnected metaverse where assets are easily acquired and deployed.

As a result, Sketchfab will remain independently branded and maintain all of its integrations and compatibilities, including, notably, Epic’s main rival, Unity, while working closely with the Unreal Engine team (who are no doubt busy on the next generation of the gaming engine).

With Epic behind it, Sketchfab is also able to reduce its store fees to 12% to keep more revenue in the pockets of creators and developers.

Build the metaverse

Marc Petit, vice president and general manager of Unreal Engine at Epic Games, comments: “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.”

“As the adoption of real-time 3D technology continues to grow, demand for web-based solutions will only increase. We are excited to work together with the Sketchfab team to empower even more creators.”

Alban Denoyel, chief executive officer and co-founder of Sketchfab, adds: “We built Sketchfab with a mission to empower a new era of creativity and provide a service for creators to showcase their work online and make 3D content accessible.”

“Joining Epic will enable us to accelerate the development of Sketchfab and our powerful online toolset, all while providing an even greater experience for creators. We are proud to work alongside Epic to build the metaverse and enable creators to take their work even further.”

What do you make of Epic’s plans for an open and interconnected metaverse? Let VRWorldTech know via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or editor@vrworldtech.com.

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Images: Sketchfab

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