Ambrosia: Still Alive & Kicking

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Mac users turned their attention to long time Mac app developer Ambrosia Software Wednesday night when the company's coders posted messages on Twitter saying they lost their jobs and that the business was shutting down. Despite what the word is on Twitter, however, company president Andrew Welch says that's not what's really happening.

Ambrosia Software: Not dead yetAmbrosia Software: Not dead yet

The Mac Observer asked Mr. Welch what was going on and he said, "People were indeed laid off, however, the company is not folding." He added that Ambrosia is still selling and supporting its products.

Word that at least some of the staff had been laid off and that the company was closing surfaced last night when now former coders Jon Gary, Jeremy Knope, and Rudy Richter all tweeted that they were out of a job. Mr. Richter made it clear at least he was under the impression Ambrosia was closing its doors with a follow up tweet that said in part, "Employer closed up shop today. Upside is jobs are plentiful."

Ambrosia Software is well known for its popular Snapz Pro X, WireTap Studio, and iToner applications, and games such as Deimos Rising and EV Nova from the popular Escape Velocity series.

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.

Layoffs are never fun both for employers and the people that suddenly find themselves out of a job, and no doubt Wednesday was a bad day all around at Ambrosia. Hopefully the company can move forward and the developers that are now out of work will find new jobs soon.

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While Snapz Pro X is a great utility, most references to Ambrosia SW that I hear are in reference to games, usually EV Nova.  The fact that Ambrosia hasn’t come out with a real* game in a long while has disillusioned me towards the company. So I’m not surprised that they’re having layoffs.

* They released a couple iOS games, like Hypnoblocks and Mondo Solitaire. Neither is very interesting nor at the level of EV Nova.

Some of their games were created by others and only published through Ambrosia SW, like Ares and Darwinia.  Those are great games that I associate with the Ambrosia brand but today independent developers have easier and larger channels for distributing their content (the iOS and Mac App Stores and Steam) so Ambrosia is not needed as a game publisher anymore.

Does anyone know if the three who were laid off focused on areas that no longer match Ambrosia’s current vision? I.e. were they Mac desktop game developers at heart but don’t get to work on that anymore? I can’t imagine Ambrosia abandoning it’s utilities like Snapz Pro that still sell well, so it has to be some portions of gaming development that they eliminate. But I don’t know if this move is related to that or if they made the cuts to gaming long ago and this move is something else.


I used to get a lot from Ambrosia. I paid for Maelstrom, Escape Velocity, EV Override, Frenzel’s Wand, Pillars of Garendall, Coldstone Game Engine, Escape Velocity Nova, Darwinia, Redline, and Aquaria, and played the demos of as many more. Their productivity software not so much. I’ve checked them from time to time to see if they’ve released anything else but it’s been a long time. Now that my copy of Escape Velocity stopped working I have none of their products on my systems.

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