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Epic Games Merges Digital Asset Stores, CEO Says Metaverse "Happening For Real"

Epic Games is speeding up its metaverse ambitions but its CEO is fearing Apple may get it in its way

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Epic Games is advancing fast in its metaverse plans, with its CEO talking up the space.

As part of its metaverse ambitions, Epic Games is unifying its digital asset marketplaces (Unreal Engine Marketplace, Quixel Bridge, Artstation Marketplace, and Sketchfab) under one brand called Fab.

Creators will be given 88% of earnings on the store, as offered currently by the Epic Game Store.

In a blog post, Epic said content creation on their platform is expected to grow "significantly as creators of experiences across Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft and other 3D worlds look to these marketplaces as sources of metaverse content, and as players increasingly build out and customize their own 3D spaces online.”

Fab, which launches later this year, will offer a suite of digital assets including 3D models, materials, sound, VFX, digital humans. The open marketplace will support “all engines, all metaverse-inspired games which support imported content, and the most popular digital content creation packages.”

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said the company has been making milestones for Epic's "unified" vision of the metaverse.

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"The metaverse has to be open, it can't be another walled garden," he said, stating that it's "happening for real."

"Open is a natural state of things, it's only in the past 15 years that we've seen walled gardens take over the world with iOS and Facebook and other companies," he said. "But that's not how it has to be though, the games industry is the perfect place for an open system to be involved because there's not one predominant company that can dictate terms.

However, Sweeney also believes that Apple could stand in Epic's way of achieving its metaverse goals.

"[Apple] will either try to crush the metaverse, or extract all the profit from it," Sweeney said. "One or the other. Apple doesn't let you use a competing browser engine. So they can do the same thing with the metaverse, so [they] can say, 'you must use Apple's limited metaverse engine, you can't build your own, you can't use Unreal.'"

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"They could just amend all the platform's rules tomorrow to kill everything everybody is doing, and that's why we need really robust antitrust [laws]. And that's why we're fighting this so hard."

The gaming industry has been struggling to onboard web3. Most recently, Square Enix faced immense backlash after releasing a trailer for a new game that incentivises holding NFTs.

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