A couple of months ago, I noticed that iOS word game Letterpress appeared to have changed owners from Loren Brichter’s Atebits to Solebon LLC. After some time had passed, I reached out to Solebon to get a little more information about the acquisition. We had a short exchange of emails, and that conversation is below.
K.Q. Dreger: What can you tell me about the acquisition of Letterpress?
Solebon LLC: Solebon acquired Letterpress from Atebits in December 2015. We had approached Loren Brichter in 2Q of 2015 but he wasn’t interested in selling at that time. We revisited the topic with him in 4Q and agreed to move forward.
Solebon has acquired all the assets and intellectual property related to Letterpress with the exception of any open source code as noted within the credits in the app (standard stuff). Loren remains involved as an advisor providing feedback on our development roadmap and related design and technical issues as requested.
We can’t speak to what Loren is up to these days as we don’t know. We can tell you from experience that Loren is very sharp and creative as you would expect from his reputation but he is also just a very thoughtful and all around good guy. No doubt he has plenty of opportunities on his plate.
Going forward, we just released the 2.0 version of Letterpress which utilizes a new game server. Not only does this lay the groundwork for new features (like chat) but it enables expansion to other operating systems down the road. This update has been a bit bumpy due to a small bug impacting a few players and last week’s big outage with many Apple services. Things are smoothing out.
Dreger: Considering your portfolio, which consists exclusively of card games, what drew you to a word game like Letterpress as a potential property to acquire?
Solebon: Great question. Our interests are more broadly aligned with what we consider as “unique casual evergreen” titles that we believe everyone should have on their devices. Solebon was the very first solitaire app on iOS. It was recruited by Apple to launch with the app store. Currently, it’s not the biggest player in the card game space but we believe it is the best and that it will grow with continued investment.
Letterpress has a unique story as well among word games and we are both honored and excited to make the investments required for it to grow. We own some other interesting apps that are in varying stages of investment including sudoku, chess and puzzle titles. Admittedly, we have our hands full right now particularly with iOS 10 and new devices coming in the next few months.
Dreger: Great, thank you for your time!