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Longtime Mac Developer Ambrosia Software Cuts Staff, Still Open for Business

Ambrosiasw 1Last 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.
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.

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17 months ago
This is what happens when we race to to bottom on software pricing and everyone else thinks software is free.:(
Rating: 28 Votes
17 months ago

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..!
Rating: 9 Votes
17 months ago
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.
Rating: 8 Votes
17 months ago
Guess thats any hope of an iPad EV game out the window now.
Rating: 6 Votes
17 months ago
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.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 months ago

This is what happens when we race to to bottom on software pricing and everyone else thinks software is free.:(


NOPE. Snapz Pro X and WireTap Studio are $69.00 each.

Their Mondo Solitaire was last updated in April 2012.

It appeared that they are still not up to speed on the new App Store world.

This is what happens when you become irrelevant, and don't do anything to stay relevant. Kinda like what's happening to Apple right now. I had a couple friends say the other day, there's nothing I want from Apple right now, isn't that weird? It's easy to become irrelevant, and insanely hard to make a comeback.


I have a couple of friends say your friends are irrelevant. Isn't that weird?
Rating: 3 Votes
17 months ago

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.
Rating: 3 Votes
17 months ago

This is what happens when you become irrelevant, and don't do anything to stay relevant. Kinda like what's happening to Apple right now. I had a couple friends say the other day, there's nothing I want from Apple right now, isn't that weird? It's easy to become irrelevant, and insanely hard to make a comeback.


Apple becoming irrelevant? You clearly are not paying attention.
Rating: 3 Votes
17 months ago

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?).
Rating: 3 Votes
17 months ago

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.


Most of those games were actually developed by third-parties, and merely published and distributed by Ambrosia with their shareware code and sometimes internal libraries or help with porting from Windows. Escape Velocity Nova, for example, was the work of Matt Burch and ATMOS Software. Another high-profile example would be Introversion Software using Ambrosia to publish a lot of their ported games on the Mac. Nowadays, digital distribution is fairly easy through the Mac App Store or Steam, so 3rd party developers have a lot more options. 10 years ago if I was an indie developer looking to publish a game on the Mac, Ambrosia would be at the top of my list. Nowadays, I'd probably go completely solo with my own website or use the App Store, and do 100% of my own marketing. The in-house developers being let go now mostly worked on Ambrosia's utility programs.

I'm just waiting for them to be bought out. Blizzard could work wonders with the EV Nova plot. Just imagining it makes me giddy. :p


Oh geez, that would be awful. I seriously doubt it would happen anyway. I'd rather see a lot of their old games go open source if they were to shut down for good (which isn't happening yet). Notably the Ares developer released his code a couple years back, resulting in not one but two successful fan projects to port Ares to OS X.
Rating: 2 Votes

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