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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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Longtime Mac Developer Ambrosia Software Cuts Staff, Still Open for Business




Last night, a number of employees of longtime Mac developer Ambrosia Software tweeted that they had been let go from their jobs and that the company was shutting down.

However, today The Mac Observer spoke with Ambrosia president Andrew Welch who said the company is not shutting down but employees had been let go.
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Mr. Welch didn't say if Ambrosia is scaling back on its app lineup, but his confirmation that the company isn't shutting down is good news for the people that rely on its products. Snapz Pro X and WireTap Studio, for example, are critical tools for many writers, bloggers, and podcasters, and losing those would mean some serious redesigning of workflows.
Ambrosia has a long line of games and utilities that it has developed and distributed over the years, including Deimos Rising which came preinstalled on a number of Macs ten years ago, and the Asteroids-style shooter Maelstrom that put the company on the map in 1993.

Article Link: Longtime Mac Developer Ambrosia Software Cuts Staff, Still Open for Business
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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Guess thats any hope of an iPad EV game out the window now.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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Not surprised

This is what happens when we race to to bottom on software pricing and everyone else thinks software is free.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Guess thats any hope of an iPad EV game out the window now.
If true, this is really a pity - Ambrosia takes me back to the 90s, where TRULY HONEST Mac gaming development took place (not just crappy Cider wraps and the like), with jewels like Maelstrom and Escape Velocity.

The EV series was one of the best ever in terms of space strategy games, and I would love to have it on the iPad - heck, the other day I almost bought EV Nova, which still runs fine on OS X..!

Good luck to them..!
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Guess thats any hope of an iPad EV game out the window now.
Escape Velocity was the first game I actually paid shareware fees to own.

That and the old World Builder games (Another Fine Mess, A Mess O' Trouble) were pretty much all that kept me going since it usually took months for new Mac games to come out back in the day.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:40 AM   #6
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I'm not surprised. This is what happens when you act like you're the only game in town. They were IT for what their offerings were for a long time... but now there are a LOT of screen capture apps. SnapZPro had a bug w/ a version of OSX for a very long time and it went un-workable for months before they had a fix. Sorry - when I have a project due that requires a working app, I'm going to find a working competing app, and I did. No sense in paying for an upgrade to software in the future when they can sit on this OSX compatibility issue for months without getting a fix for it, when I can get a cheaper, competing app that works. You can make up in volume what you make up in price if your product is really good. When it's buggy w/ a new OS release and causes kernel panics every time you try to save a movie, people are going to stop trusting your product.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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I also have a special place in my heart for Ambrosia SW. I cannot count how many games of Maelstrom I have played (and still do) in high school, not to mention the countless hours in Escape Velocity.

On top of their games they also had a significant number of Mac utilities that were always a quality product.

Ambrosia is a remnant of the Pre-OS X days.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
I also have a special place in my heart for Ambrosia SW. I cannot count how many games of Maelstrom I have played (and still do) in high school, not to mention the countless hours in Escape Velocity.

On top of their games they also had a significant number of Mac utilities that were always a quality product.

Ambrosia is a remnant of the Pre-OS X days.
Amen. I wish they'd get back into gaming... They haven't released any serious games in years. I occasionally start up Sheepshaver just to run Cythera and the like.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:48 AM   #9
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Man. Looking through their older games was a trip down memory lane. Escape Velocity, Bubble Trouble, Mars Rising and Deimos Rising. I spent a lot of time and money playing these when I was young. I'm sorry to see them scaling back, but I guess that's the reality of the marketplace right now: everything is either $100 million blockbusters (CoD, BF3, Assassin's Creed, etc.) or cheap-ass fremium games.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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Man. Looking through their older games was a trip down memory lane. Escape Velocity, Bubble Trouble, Mars Rising and Deimos Rising. I spent a lot of time and money playing these when I was young. I'm sorry to see them scaling back, but I guess that's the reality of the marketplace right now: everything is either $100 million blockbusters (CoD, BF3, Assassin's Creed, etc.) or cheap-ass fremium games.
Their main market hasn't been games for a very long time... Sure there's Mondo Solitaire, but lets be serious.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by imgonephishin View Post
Man. Looking through their older games was a trip down memory lane. Escape Velocity, Bubble Trouble, Mars Rising and Deimos Rising. I spent a lot of time and money playing these when I was young. I'm sorry to see them scaling back, but I guess that's the reality of the marketplace right now: everything is either $100 million blockbusters (CoD, BF3, Assassin's Creed, etc.) or cheap-ass fremium games.
Based on their arcade game genre you'd think Ambrosia would be an shoe-in success for iOS gaming.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:57 AM   #12
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Based on their arcade game genre you'd think Ambrosia would be an shoe-in success for iOS gaming.
Agreed. They had a huge advantage having such extensive experience working with the Mac. As someone who owned most of their Mac games over the years, I never bought one of their super-casual iOS games.

I had always hoped Escape Velocity would make the jump to iOS...I know I'd at least put in $25 for a EV: iOS Kickstarter.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 12:00 PM   #13
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I've been a long time user of Snapz Pro. Also used to love Apeiron and Maelstrom back in the day.

RIP.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 12:23 PM   #14
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I cut my proverbial teeth on Ambrosia, I remember getting EV on one of the first Mac Addict disks as a kid. Played that for hours and hours. Hell then in college EV:Nova was responsible many a sleepless night. I've also been a long time user of Snapz.

Companies like Ambrosia and Spiderweb hold a special place in my little Mac heart. I'd always hoped Ambrosia would get back into games development and toss out an EV 4 at some point, guess that will never happen now.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 12:29 PM   #15
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Its a real shame, they just seem to have given up in the last few years. When you look at the recent releases on the site theres just not much there
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 12:34 PM   #16
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It's a sad day, but the company doesn't seem like it's going anywhere, at least not yet. Who knows if they'll keep making new apps or simply only support the ones they've already got out. I hope we hear more from Andrew Welch in the coming days.

As for why this happened, so much of their business (historically) was in publishing. With stuff like the App Store, they faced some pretty steep competition, and I think a lot of third party developers no longer needed Ambrosia's support for delivering games and handling payments. Instead in recent years they've been focused on in-house development, specifically utilities, and while they're widely used they're not particularly sexy. Enthusiasm for the company has been waning, compared to the days of all those great games people keep mentioning. In the good old days, a new piece of software could be announced and they'd be guaranteed to have a lot of interest from the community built around their games. Lately, they've been having to compete on a more equal level against hundreds of other developers, just to get the word out.

They seem to be a casualty of the success of Apple's App Store, or the Mac as a whole. They used to be one of the biggest Mac software companies around, but now they're just one out of so many others.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 12:49 PM   #17
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This is so sad

Countless time I've played Maelstrom on the Mac. My dad bought an LC 4/40 with 12" colour display, and Maelstrom was so cool on that!

All those funny quotes in that game!
- "Time's a wasting speedy"
- "Ooh, you're one of the good guys"
- ELVIS
.. so much more...

Why didn't they pick up the ball with OS X? Why not a nice 3D version Maelstrom?
There's so little in the MacAppStore from them.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 01:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by imgonephishin View Post
I'm sorry to see them scaling back, but I guess that's the reality of the marketplace right now: everything is either $100 million blockbusters (CoD, BF3, Assassin's Creed, etc.) or cheap-ass fremium games.
A lot of people like to say that about the current marketplace, but it isn't really true, especially on Mac/PC. There are tons of games like Minecraft, FTL, Torchlight, TrackMania, Serious Sam, etc that make lots of money either independently or through Steam selling for $10-25. You really think a new Escape Velocity with Steam Workshop support wouldn't sell like hotcakes at a moderate price? People would go nuts.

You'd think the rise of Steam and the Mac App Store, making it easier to pay for their games, would be a boon if anything. It seems more like poor management (or lack of internal interest?).
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 01:13 PM   #19
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Seems to me that they have just kinda stopped innovating. Their product lineup is about the same as it was a few years ago. It's a shame all their games are now puzzle games; they made some great action and strategy games (Maelstrom, Escape Velocity) in the 90's. I'd hate to see a software company with such a great Macintosh heritage go under.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 01:14 PM   #20
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A lot of people like to say that about the current marketplace, but it isn't really true, especially on Mac/PC. There are tons of games like Minecraft, FTL, Torchlight, TrackMania, Serious Sam, etc that make lots of money either independently or through Steam selling for $10-25. You really think a new Escape Velocity with Steam Workshop support wouldn't sell like hotcakes at a moderate price? People would go nuts.

You'd think the rise of Steam and the Mac App Store, making it easier to pay for their games, would be a boon if anything. It seems more like poor management (or lack of internal interest?).
I have to agree with you there - EV Nova ALONE would make tons of money on the MAS and iOS, just like Spiderweb's excellent RPGs. Just make it cost LESS than 30 bucks, which seems a bit steep nowadays.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 01:32 PM   #21
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If only they had put in the time to develop their old games for the iPad... But now it's almost too late.

I mean, Bubble Trouble for iPad, would have been a hit. So much fun for kids. Apeiron could be bundled with Swoop and Maelstrom as a shooter pack -- wow Swoop had great music. Escape Velocity was so much fun.

Yes, remaking those for iPad costs a lot of time and money. Success is not guaranteed. But if they were one of the first, they could have made good name.

I mean, Pangeasoft remade all their titles for iOS.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 01:34 PM   #22
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Personally, I really like Wiretap Studio... it came included with one of the MacHeist bundles I bought, so when I needed something that could do what it does, I was surprised to find that I already owned it.

I was also surprised to find out how good it is. I don't know if it's worth paying full price if you're going to use it once or twice, but if you mess with audio at all, it's a great tool.

Kinda overkill for my current use of it though (creating ringtones from songs I own.)
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 01:43 PM   #23
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I still love playing SketchPad Fighter! I gladly support Ambrosia.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 02:42 PM   #24
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Ambrosia Software. They were the yardstick by which I measured all other software for the Mac.

Escape Velocity is one of those games that has the stuff. I spent many hours playing that one after school.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 03:08 PM   #25
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Better get that EV serial I've been thinking about for so many years...!
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