Epic Games, the renowned creators of Unreal Engine and the popular game Fortnite, have announced their plans to merge several platforms, including UE Marketplace, Quixel, Sketchfab, and ArtStation Marketplace, into one unified platform called Fab.
Fab is expected to be a unified platform that will combine the best features from each of its merging platforms, including ArtStation, UE Marketplace, Quixel, and Sketchfab. For instance, it will feature Sketchfab’s viewer, which allows users to preview models’ wireframes and textures in their browsers. Additionally, users will be able to use Quixel Bridge’s importer to import assets directly into Unreal Engine, not just exclusively from Megascans, as was the case with Quixel Bridge, but from all the other merging platforms.
By pulling the best features from each platform, Fab is expected to offer a more comprehensive and streamlined experience for users. Users will be able to access and use a wide range of features and services from a single platform, making their workflow more efficient and hassle-free. With the merging of these platforms, creators, artists, and game developers will have access to a broader range of assets and resources, making it easier for them to bring their visions to life.
Before Epic Games acquired these platforms, ArtStation, UE Marketplace, Quixel, and Sketchfab were all separate platforms that provided similar services, hosting, showcasing, and selling 3D content. These platforms competed with each other, each offering unique features.
Quixel, for instance, used its Megascans branch to sell scanned 3D models and textures. They also owned Quixel Mixer, which allowed users to mix and blend textures similarly to Substance Painter. Additionally, Quixel Bridge, a plugin used to import 3D assets from Megascans directly into Unreal Engine, will now be part of Fab and will also import assets from ArtStation, Sketchfab, and the Unreal Engine Marketplace.
ArtStation, on the other hand, started as a public portfolio for artists to showcase their work and later added the ability to sell and buy assets. Similarly, Sketchfab is a marketplace that offers one of the best asset visualizers, allowing users to see different layers of models, including the base mesh, wireframe, topology, and textures, before purchasing them. This feature will also be included in Fab.
Fab is expected to go live later this year, and during its alpha period, the merging platforms will remain intact and continue to function as usual. Sellers can still use these platforms to buy and sell assets as they have been doing. However, later on, all artists are expected to move their assets to the unified platform, where revenue sharing is expected to range between 12% and 88%.
These platforms have many differences, especially when comparing ArtStation to the others. It will be interesting to see how Fab functions as a replacement for all these major hubs. Epic Games’ move to unify these platforms under one roof is expected to create a more streamlined experience for users and offer them a broader range of features and services. As a result, artists, creators, and game developers can expect a more seamless workflow and more opportunities to monetize their work in the future.