Epic Games Backs Blender Foundation with $1.2m Epic MegaGrants

Epic MegaGrants is a program by Epic Games to support game developers, enterprise professionals, content creators and tool developers doing amazing things with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

As part of that, Epic Games granted Blender Foundation $1.2 million to help improve their development. If you didn’t know already, Blender is one of the best open source video editors and specifically famous for creating professional 3D computer graphics.

Tim Sweeney (Founder and CEO of Epic Games) also commented on the grant:

“Open tools, libraries and platforms are critical to the future of the digital content ecosystem,. “Blender is an enduring resource within the artistic community, and we aim to ensure its advancement to the benefit of all creators.”

Even if this is good news, there are people who are not happy with this. In this article, we shall take a look at the plans of Blender Foundation after the grant, and what people think about it.

Blender Foundation Plans for Improvement

Epic Games Blender Megagrant
Image Credit : BlenderNation

In the press release, Blender Foundation has mentioned how the money will be utilized and for what purpose:

The Epic MegaGrant will be delivered incrementally over the next three years and will contribute to Blender’s Professionalizing Blender Development Initiative.

So, yes, the financial help will be provided in cash – however, it will happen in the course of 3 years. This is a significant amount of time where we can expect major improvements to the Blender Foundation and its quality of software.

Here’s what Ton Roosendaal (Founder of Blender Foundation) had to say about how it is going to be utilized;

Having Epic Games on board is a major milestone for Blender,” said Blender Foundation founder and chairman Ton Roosendaal. “Thanks to the grant we will make a significant investment in our project organization to improve on-boarding, coordination and best practices for code quality. As a result, we expect more contributors from the industry to join our projects.”

Why are some people not happy about this?

Let me make this clear – personally, I do not like Epic Game’s marketplace or the client to play games.

I would prefer Steam over Epic Games for a variety of reasons (features, privacy, and so on).

However, Epic Games is known as the bad guy in the gaming community because it made several recent games exclusive to its platform – even though a lot of people warned users about the privacy issues on their platform.

Not only this, the CEO of Epic Games tweeted this in the past:

Well, that does not directly imply that he hates Linux or does not actively promote game development for Linux – but there’s just a lot of history and people do not really trust Epic Games for its decisions. So, they do not appreciate the association with Blender Foundation (even it is a positive thing with the financial help).

This has nothing to do with financial help. But, Epic Games does not have a good reputation (it is subjective – of course) – hence, the negativity. Take a look at some of the tweets after the grant announcement:

https://twitter.com/acrid_heartwood/status/1150789691979030528

Wrapping Up

You can still run Epic Games on Linux via Lutris but that’s very feeble unofficial attempt. Epic Games has showed no interest to support officially.

So, it is obvious that not everyone trusts Epic Games. Hence, all the negativity that comes along with this news.

However, this grant will definitely help Blender Foundation improve its organization and the quality of software.

What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Perhaps people need to have a look on the blender YouTube channel. There is a video from last Tuesday. He will never do something like what people are scared off to or with blender. He has been doing this for about 32 years or so. Ps not sure why one other person states “acquired”, he developed blender as a in-house tool and later it was release as opensourxece. Perhaps somehow it was “acquired”, not sure about that

    • I agree completely. Looking back on it acquisition wasn’t the correct term. My intended meaning was when Ton took the tools that he and NaN had developed and started the Blender Foundation to help support the ongoing development of Blender under the GNU license so that NaN’s closure wouldn’t effect tools that many people used and loved.

  • Just wait… Soon there will be a “Blender for Epic” released. followed by Blender telemetry.

  • I definitely understand the concern many people have for this, but Blender (since Roosendaal’s acquisition of it) has always been extremely up-front with its FOSS-ness and has prided itself on it since the beginning. I don’t think Ton (or the community) will let Epic sully the amazing reputation that Blender has garnered itself over the years. I think that this is a step in the right direction for the Blender Foundation, and indie/professional artists as a whole.

    Thanks for this insightful article!