MetaCreations, a renowned provider of graphics software, recently announced
that the Board of Directors has made the baffling decision of effectively
dropping their range of graphics products to concentrate purely on their
MetaStream technology. This decision comes shortly before the release of
Carrara, MC's "next-generation 3D software for print, video and the Web."
On the third line of their Carrara announcement, MetaCreations stated that
it would continue to support their existing graphics products. However,
this ongoing 'support' of the products has done nothing to settle the angry
MetaCreations community, as users fire up a "boycott MetaStream" action in
protest of the recent announcement. Many of MetaCreations' products have
cult-followings, and although they are unlikely to reverse this bewildering
decision by the company's businessmen, the mass of users and their protest
will almost certainly cause them a lot of grief. Some users are going as
far as calling for the head of the man they believe to be responsible for
these decisions, one Gary L. Lauer (ex-President and ex-Chief Executive
Officer, now Chairman of the company). Disembodied heads aside, this is a
serious issue. Around 100 MetaCreations employees have already been laid
off, or will be in the near future. Also affected by this 'change in focus'
are the third-party developers who create plug-ins for MetaCreations
graphics products, publications that make giving away and writing about
these products a primary selling point, and of course, the artists who use
the software. But through all of the controversy, questions and confusion,
the fact remains that MetaCreations have yet to announce the exact future
of their products. There is still a possibility that they will be sold to
other companies. However, there is also the possibility that they will not.
A wise decision would be to sell their assets to gain capitol for their new
venture. Whatever happens, MC users will most likely continue to create
work with the products they love, supported by the company or not. It seems
the businessmen behind the "creative Web company" have been making some
very creative business decisions indeed.