Update: Botgirl Questi pointed me to this coverage of the Yahoo! buy-out of Cloud Party, which includes a statement from Yahoo! on the acquisition.
It’s been the darling for some, and has come a long way in a short period of time. However, it now appears is if things are to draw to a close at Cloud Party, as spotted by Phadrus on the SLU forums.
After a year which has seen some rapid development, particularly in the latter half of 2013, with features and options being added nigh-on weekly – such as Oculus Rift support, and e-mail updates hitting users’ in boxes as a matter of routine, the company has today announced a major change of direction via a new blog post from Cloud Party’s CEO, Sam Thompson.
The blog post reads in full:
We’re excited to announce that the time has come for the Cloud Party team to start our next adventure. We are joining Yahoo! The last two years have been an incredible experience for everyone here. We’ve been continually amazed by your creativity and the worlds you’ve built and shared with us.
Cloud Party will continue to run until February 21, 2014. We want to support our community during this transition. In the interest of preserving your extraordinary Cloud Party creations, we’ve added export tools and written this guide to help you export your content. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
We are privileged to have had so many wonderful users share ideas and creations. We are excited to bring our vision and experience to a team that is as passionate about games as we are. Thank you all for sharing in this journey with us, and we hope you stick around for what’s next!
While “closing” isn’t specifically mentioned in the post, an end-date for the service is clearly given – February 21st. This tends to indicate that this is more than a matter of Cloud Party simply transitioning to a new owner following acquisition, and that the platform is indeed going away. This begs the question as to what Sam and his team will be doing at Yahoo!, and will the experiences they’ve gained through running Cloud Party be part of whatever plans their new employers have?
Given that this is Yahoo!, who haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory with either the acquisition of Flickr or the overhaul of their own Yahoo! Groups, will anyone from the “old” Cloud Party be sufficiently motivated to sign-up to whatever does follow?
While it perhaps never attracted the volume of users it might, Cloud Party offered some intriguing concepts, many of which did attract a fair few content creators from the likes of Second Life, particularly given the ease with which mesh creations could be designed and imported into the platform.
So far, there has been no visible response to the announcement on the Cloud Party forums, although the word is spreading.