Camel Audio have long been a favorite name in plug-in instruments and effects, as makers of CamelSpace, CamelPhat, the Alchemy sample manipulation instrument. But their software hasn’t seen updates in some time, and today customers were greeted with a bare-bones site that presented only basic support options and a login.
Upon logging in, I read this:
January 8, 2015
We would like to thank you for the support we’ve received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries.
Camel Audio’s plug-ins, Alchemy Mobile IAPs and sound libraries are no longer available for purchase. We will continue to provide downloads of your previous purchases and email support until July 7, 2015. We recommend you download all of your purchases and back them up so that you can continue to use them (Instructions: How to Download and Backup Your Products).
Those downloads are available now and it appears won’t be around forever.
There are two main scenarios here that could explain the fate of the software itself (inevitably, people do wonder if a company ceases operation whether their software will be made available free):
1. Licensing issues may prevent them from giving away the software. (Making it open source is often simply not an option; proprietary software often builds on proprietary libraries – or was simply never intended to be developed in an open environment.)
2. Assets may have been otherwise liquidated – as in, possibly sold to another developer.
Without any information, everything else is speculation.
The light of hope here, as noted in comments: sound designers were already working on Alchemy 2, meaning a new developer may take over the new synth.
The software business is tough – plain and simple. I’m very impressed by independent businesses making a go of it at all – see Audio Damage, for instance, who have built unique stuff with a liberal licensing scheme. But I know the numbers are very often right on the edge. And we have to remember that supporting those developers we love is what keeps them in business. Some day, they simply might not be there any more. I’m sad to see these folks go.
CDM asked Camel if they wish to comment; we’ll publish if we hear back from them.