Following the acquisition [by ngmoco], the Freeverse that Mac users spent over a decade following slowly started to vanish. Game releases stopped, the brakes got slammed on publishing, and over the next two years key Freeverse employees who had been with the company for years started leaving. Today, this is punctuated by the two founders walking away from the very company they invested so much of their life into.
Last Friday details leaked that co-founders Ian and Colin Lynch Smith were leaving Freeverse along with a few other long-time key employees. We may have been a bit hyperbolic at the time with the tombstone image and all that, but it seems that corporate overlord ngmoco wasted no time when it came to shuttering the studio. We’re now getting reports that less than a week later nearly the entire Freeverse office has been laid off, and may be closed entirely.
Hearts Deluxe was probably one of the first Mac shareware products that I purchased. Do these sorts of acquisitions ever work out well for the original customers? Hopefully the Lynch Smiths will found a new development shop.