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.