CyberChimps Inc., a WordPress Theme Shop that has developed a number of themes in their lineup has gone ahead and acquired ThemeID and their responsive theme that had managed to amass an incredible 500,000 downloads in it’s very short lifespan.
This is both a strategic move by CyberChimps and a sweet exit for Emil Uzelac, the founder of ThemeID, as it allows him to leave with a healthy financial move and also allows CyberChimp to capitalize as well on the obvious popularity of the theme and release a “Pro” version that they can monetize:
When I first created ‘Responsive’ I never imagined it would receive half a million downloads in just under a year. … It has been an amazing experience, but it has grown so quickly that it has become difficult to maintain alone.
I wanted to make sure that ‘Responsive’ and its users continue to be supported, I am very excited to see what the team at CyberChimps will be able to do with what I’ve created.
From the official statement it seems that CyberChimps will allow the theme to continue to be free under the GPL while building the new Pro version in parallel aligning it with the other development techniques and methods that CyberChimps has historically used.
Existing members of ThemeID should see no disruption whatsoever.
This move doesn’t surprise me and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen more and more as very popular free themes on WordPress.org get either scooped up and acquired by existing theme shops or the authors take their download success and create a “Pro” version.
Looking through the repo there are a number of other very popular themes that haven’t been capitalized on fully although I doubt that all authors will be interested in making that type of shift.
Congrats to Emil nonetheless and I hope for great success for CyberChimps! There’s no telling if the conversion and creation of a Pro version will scale but time will tell.