On the same day as Fortnite maker Epic Games goes to trial with one of the most significant legal challenges to the, it announced the acquisition of the artist portfolio community ArtStation — and immediately lowered the commissions on sales. Now, standard creators on ArtStation will see the same 12% commission rate found in Epic’s own Store for PCs instead of the 30% before. is meant to be an example to the broader community of what a “reasonable” commission should look like. This could become a point of comparison with the Store’s 30% commission for more prominent developers like Epic as the court case proceeds. ArtStation today offers a place for creators across gaming, media, and entertainment to showcase their . The company has long relationships with , as many ArtStation creators work with Epic’s Unreal Engine. However, ArtStation has also been home to 2D and 3D creators across verticals, including those without Unreal Engine.
The acquisition won’t change that, the game sales, too, recently announcing a 30% to 12% drop.in its announcement. Instead, the deal will expand the opportunities for creators to monetize their work. Most notably, that involves the . For standard creators, the fees will drop from 30% to 12%. The commission goes even lower for Pro members (who pay $9.95/mo for a subscription) — from 20% to 8%. And for self-promoted sales, the fees will be just 5%. ArtEngine’s , ArtStation Learning, will also be free for the rest of 2021, the company notes. However, the slashed commission is perhaps the most crucial change Epic makes to ArtStation because it gives Epic a specific example of how it treats its . It will likely reference the acquisition and the commission during its trial with Apple, its own Epic Games Store, and its similarly low rate. Epic’s move had already prompted Microsoft to lower its cut on
In the trial,has a monopoly on the iOS app ecosystem and that it abuses its market power to force developers to use Apple’s payment systems and pay its commissions on the sales and in-app purchases that flow through those systems. Like several other more prominent app makers, would instead use its payment systems to avoid the commission — or, at the very least, be able to point users to a website where they can pay directly. But Apple doesn’t allow this, per its guidelines. Last year, Epic Games triggered Fortnite’s expulsion by introducing a new direct way to pay on mobile devices, which offered a steep discount. It was a calculated move. Apple and Google immediately banned the game for violating their policies. And then Epic sued.
While Epic’s fight is technical with both Apple and Google, it has focused more of its energy on the former because Android devices allow sideloading apps (a means ofdirectly), and Apple does not. Meanwhile, Apple argues that agreed to Apple’s terms and guidelines and then purposefully violated them to get a special deal. But Apple says the guidelines apply to all developers equally, and Epic doesn’t get an exception here. However, throughout the U.S. antitrust investigations into , it was discovered that Apple did make special deals in the past. shared by the House Judiciary Committee as a part of an investigation revealed that Apple had agreed to a 15% commission for Amazon’s Prime Video app at the start when typically subscription video apps are 30% in year one, then 15% in year two and beyond.
(Apple says Amazon qualified for a new program.) Plus, other older emails This could have pushed the two companies to discuss further deeper ties. “Over the , we’ve worked hard to enable creators to showcase their work, connect with opportunities, and make a living doing what they love,” said Leonard Teo, CE and co-founder of ArtStation, in a statement. “As part of Epic, we will be able to advance this mission and give back to the community in ways we couldn’t on our own while retaining the ArtStation name and spirit.”had several discussions about raising commissions even higher than 30%, indicating that Apple believed its commission rate had some flex. Ahead of today’s acquisition by Epic Games, ArtStation received a “Megagrant” from Epic during the height of the to help it through an uncertain period.