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.

Details are slowly emerging on how many specifically were laid off, and we've heard as many as seven Freeverse employees were lucky enough to retain their jobs although it still remains to be seen if Freeverse in the future will exist as anything other than a brand name in the ngmoco financial portfolio. Regardless, it's really sad to see this happen as in my years of working in this industry, few studios I've dealt with managed to top pre-ngmoco Freeverse when it came to overall office atmosphere, game releases, and everything else that made for a great game development house.

I suppose the up side, if there was one to this terrible situation, is that if you're an iOS developer in the New York area looking to scoop up some fantastic and entirely squandered talent: Now is your chance to hire some really great people.

Update: Just received confirmation that Nathan Camarillo is taking over as studio lead at Freeverse after leaving a position as Executive Producer at Crytek. In the meantime, the few remaining Freeverse employees will be working on two ngmoco projects Quests & Sorcery and Monster Tracker. Allegedly, they'll soon begin work on a new title but no further information on what that project actually will be or when it will be released is available.

  • CaponeTalks

    Ian and Colin earned a lot of money when they sold Freeverse to ngmoco, right? So why not go back to the roots and start all over again (with the old team)? They could call their new company Vreeferse. Or Burning Monkey. 😉

    • drunknbass

      How bout NGNOMO?

      • Capone


  • TomCrown

    Another great studio chooses to get bought out, the studio owners make out big winners and their employees get fucked, well done : /.

    • One Happy Giant

      The studio owners, Ian and Colin, are not like that at all. They are the best bosses I've ever had and they always put the quality of life at the company ahead of anything else. Don't comment on things you know nothing about.

      • TomCrown

        How was the quality of life after they sold to Ngmoco?

      • Gameindustrywire

        No need to be a dumba$$ just because you were/are wrong. Cashing in and selling your company isn't evil. It makes it so their taxes can support people like you when you get fired for being an a$$.

  • One Happy Giant

    I despise ngmoco and DeNA for what they did to all those development studios they bought. Freeverse used to be such a fun place to work. Little by little, the soul was sucked out of us and it just wasn't what it used to be. I feel bad for all my friends who lost their job today, but excited for the new, better opportunities they find.

  • Greyskull

    Does anyone know whether or not games published by Freeverse will remain in the AppStore? If not, I have a couple previous purchases I would like to DL onto my phone before it's too late.

    • Zwilnik

      They should do, but if not you can still download them via iCloud.

  • jon gemenis

    Colin and Ian are some of the nicest blokes I met in the US, and that's saying something. They created great product and a fantastic environment for their staff. Anyone to say different really doesn't know what they're talking about. There are casualties in any business (thta's the nature of the beast) and I'm sure, being the people they are, they did their best to keep them to a minimum. I wish them all well for the future.

  • Danii Apple

    The Golden Age of Touch Arcade began when ng:moco started to pay TA for a special package: advertising + positive reviews.

    I worked for both Freeverse and ng:moco and I know who's the bad guy and who's the good guy, if we want to make it easy.

    I've been banned from this site when ng:moco purchased Freeverse because I kept commenting that ng:moco would have killed Freeverse pretty soon.

    TA used to ban my comments, but when I finally wrote that they've been paid by ng:moco for such "special" services, I've been banned.

    So, here I try again: the hype of ng:moco was created here. The reason why that company was overrated is because of this hype. The reason why some people are disappointed is because they were full of positive expectations.

    End of the story. Good luck to all the ex members of Freeverse.
    Great people working with passion, I wish you all the best.
    ng:moco, instead... what are they doing? Mobage? fail:moco, bye bye...

    • CaponeTalks

      Well... to be honest, the reason I was hyped for ng:moco:) was because of the fact that they published Rolando by Hand Circus. That was one of the most creative games back then. Of course I hoped the company would publish or create more of those great games. But I see your point, of course it seems that all the hype about ng:moco:) was one big bubble...

    • Maniacfive

      Well, NGmoco did publish some good games. In the early days, Rolando was great! As was the sequel. And at the time Eliminate was fun and kinda groundbreaking.

      As time went on, yeah, they suck. But you can't blame TA for publishing positive reviews for positive stuff. Unless you think Rolando wasn't worthy of a positive review. In which case I question your motives.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Hello Pante and the countless usernames you've registered since,

      We typically delete comments accusing us of paid reviews and ban the people posting them because thinking such things exhibits a SEVERE disconnection from reality- Especially on games that are universally loved and saw loads of critical acclaim. I find it to be absolutely impossible (Especially historically always connecting from an IP originating in Italy) to believe that you've "worked for both Freeverse and ngmoco" while still buying into these conspiracies so hard.
      For reference, here are our advertising and editorial policies:

      It takes a special kind of person to be so insane that they'd continually re-register to attempt to point out we're being "paid for reviews" when the reviews you accused us of doing that with were in line with reviews across the entire internet and iTunes. Just taking a step back and thinking about that logically, what benefit would there be for ngmoco to pay us off if we (and everyone else) enjoy their games?

      I seriously have no idea why you've spent years of your time trying to discredit a half dozen reviews of ours, but, if you've got nothing better to do I guess carry on my wayward son.

      • Con

        Hodapp, the bat person.