UpThemes has retired all of their old themes, and released their first new theme. It’s part of an ongoing effort the better define who they are and what their goals are in their themes. According to my conversation with Chris Wallace, UpThemes founder, they didn’t want to support themes that didn’t follow the best practices they should be using.
UpThemes sales have dropped over previous years, so he says “not too many” customers are affected by retiring the old themes. Their new themes, starting with Amplify, will be more about supporting plugins that already do functionality well, versus baking functionality into the theme itself.
They will be relaunching their website with the new slate of themes, but for now all themes will be sold on ThemeForest. I hope their new themes and practices will take hold there, and that the slump in sales turns around. Retiring everything is a bold move, but probably what they needed.
In a related note, it makes me wonder just how many theme companies that have had some relative success in the past are being challenged by all the new competition and providers. And I wonder how many will be willing to make big changes like this versus simply fizzle out.