Business in Virtual Worlds, Virtual World Platforms

Is Forterra Headed for Acquisition? Layoffs Reported

Hot of the Twitter stream this morning, Erica Driver of ThinkBalm reports that Forterra has laid off 60% of its workforce and plans to sell off its remaining assets. Rumors of trouble at Forterra have been making the rounds for months now, and I first heard of this at the Engage Expo in San Jose. But they were just that: rumors, and today’s tweets don’t seem to be matched by a substantial news source. although Erica herself is about as good a source as they come.

One apparent Forterra employee (or satirist maybe) tweeted the following: “To Forterra’s detractors, Merry Christmas. We are on minimal life support for acquisition. Will now spend the weekend updating my resume.”

This doesn’t add specificity to the news from Erica, but seems to indicate that something’s afoot.

Forterra, which had been hugely successful by providing virtual world technology to government had, by industry reports, struggled of late. Bids on military and government projects had fallen off, and by most accounts it was related to a very high price point compared to the competition, a widened field of companies able to support this type of work, and technology that had become somewhat creaky with age.

Whether the speculation turns out to be true or not, it reinforces my personal sense that we’ll see a shaking out in the virtual world’s industry in the coming months as both industry growth and increased competition leads to aggregation and attrition.

We await further news, or add your own in the comments. Hopefully the rumors will prove unfounded.

(Hat tip to Mr. Rigby).


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