SketchFab, the leading 3D content site, has a brand-new owner: Epic Games, creators of gaming juggernaut Fortnite. The goal is lofty, with the company looking to build an interconnected metaverse that’s accessible and open. It wants to give creators the opportunity to grow the ecosystem without red tape, with a community ready to give talented 3D artists the chance to live up to their potential.
Epic Games believes that the future of gaming is in 3D, Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR). It’s clear that the traditional 2D gaming experience has a shelf life, and with this move, the gaming giant clearly wants to be ahead of its competition.
What Does SketchFab Do?
SketchFab is a community for 3D content creators, where users can upload their 3D scans to a thriving marketplace. For some people, it makes up a huge chunk of their income, with many selling their scans for over $1,000 per month.
It’s also led to some fantastic opportunities for some individuals, including a creator who was hired by Elon Musk’s Tesla. One of the company’s staffers saw their work, was impressed, and promptly commissioned the creator to 3D scan all of Tesla’s new electric car models.
SketchFab already has a strong team, a dedicated user base, and a website with plenty of room to grow. It is also ready-made for a community-driven space, giving Epic Games the tools to empower creators across the globe.
Epic Games will be one of the first at the party, giving customers access to 3D models for its entire customer base. It gives the company the chance to fully build out a strong community before their competitors.
Epic Games, longtime critics of the Apple Store and what they view are unfair practices, have lived up to their reputation for having gamers in mind. Store fees at SketchFab, for example, have been massively reduced from 30% to 12%.
It’s obviously not just a charity move, however. The company is clearly trying to build its community at a quickfire pace. Watch this space, because Epic Games may become synonymous with 3D/AR/VR.
Why is This Move Significant?
Epic Games has massively highlighted the importance of 3D tech in gaming. It’s the future, unquestionably. With millions of gamers logging on to play every single day, there’s a huge market there already. And it’s growing at a frightening pace; VR and AR will dominate the market in coming years, leveraging the opportunities given by improved 3D tech.
But first, the emphasis should be made that 3D modeling has bled into ‘other’ gaming industries – online gambling. Casinos, always quick movers when it comes to tech, are expanding to offer more realistic gameplay. With consumers increasingly moving away from land-based establishments, 3D models now presents the perfect opportunity to provide the closest thing to a real experience. And soon enough, complete adaptation to VR will follow – meaning that various games like roulette or slots and those in-person meetings with players and a dealer will go from screen-based 3D models (now omnipresent) to being hard-to-distinguish-real-from-the-virtual. Sounds pretty epic (just like the gaming studio).
As we mentioned, traditional table games, like roulette, for example, have been given extensive 3D treatments – you can see it yourself on every corner. You can find great examples on websites like Arabian Betting, dedicated to providing in-depth knowledge about online casinos. Here, you can not only learn the main concepts needed to play online roulette, but will also be shown with samples of how 3D modeled roulette games look like. Altogether with being provided with options for trying out establishments that offer the elevated gameplay experience.
3D is paving the way for VR and AR – rapidly. That being said, VR is now no longer a novelty, an add-on with a promise of more, but ultimately disappointing and not matching the best of 2D gameplay. It’s now a legit contender for the go-to gaming option.
The most popular VR gaming option right now is probably the Oculus Quest 2. Games like Half-Life: Alyx and Star Wars: Squadrons give you a seriously fun experience, rather than just ‘something different’.
When it comes to AR, the most well-known option is Pokémon Go. It brings the popular game into the physical world, giving smartphone users access to their favorite characters, blending them with real life. The player’s goal is to hunt Pokémon in their own cities, giving them the opportunity to explore new places.
Perhaps the coolest way Pokémon Go has brought people together is one occasion when over 3000 people were in Santa Monica Pier in California at 1 am. All of them were there to hunt a rare Pokémon. Can you imagine the possibilities?
The advantage AR has over VR is that most people already own a smartphone with the necessary hardware. They don’t need to buy anything extra, no expensive Oculus Rift, just the device you use on a daily basis. This is why tech has huge potential and may be the leading gaming option in the very near future.
The Future is Now
People have been talking about virtual reality and 3D technology for decades. But it’s now really happening, becoming that next-level experience that 80s films made seem like science fiction.
Movies like Tron and Ready Player One seemed a little far-fetched upon release, maybe decades away, but a realistic virtual reality using superior 3D tech isn’t that far away.