Recently, Ftrack, one of the main production trackers on the market, was acquired by a hedge fund name PSG. Until then, Ftrack was the biggest challenger of Shotgrid, the Autodesk tracking system. In some ways, it was our main competitor.
It's true that they were focused on VFX productions while we worked mainly with animation studios. But, it was a strong alternative to SG. They aimed at providing something simpler. They had the small team effect where you can still be agile, provide new features often, and change cap if necessary. They had good traction and a lot of funding. It was enough reason for us to keep them on our radar and consider them seriously.
Now they are acquired, it's a whole new thing. Of course, they will have more funds to strengthen their Sales and Marketing team but it means too that it's no more a product company. The investment funds strategy is well known, they grow the valuation of the company by pushing the Sales. Then they exit when they can. There are few chances that Ftrack innovates much more than SG now. There will be some hype at the beginning then it should quickly fade away. Last but not least, to satisfy their goals, they will have to target big companies and probably outside the movie industry, no more small and medium animation / VFX studios.
So, what? This event had a lot of impact on CGWire. It's a big change: we are now the strongest alternative to SG. We are a product company focused on our users. We iterate fast and our user base expands quickly.
With this acquisition of Ftrack, our responsibilities widen suddenly. People who are looking for innovations will now look at what we do. Of course, other challengers are already there (Cerebro, CGTeamwork, Toonboom, Aquarium, etc.). But none of them proposes an open-source solution, deployed in many studios and, with a strong opinion on the UX. So, at least for a while, all eyes will be directed toward us to know what is coming new for studios collaboration.
It's a big duty, but we are proud to handle it. All along the way, we saw competitors stopping operations or being acquired. We didn't know that we'll survive such a competitive market. But, we are now there, with a vibrant community of users and coders (in past months we received several significant contributions).
Our motivated team and the collective intelligence from our open source project is a great recipe to bring you the features you dreamt of. We are now in the best canvas to provide you with the software you deserve. Kitsu is on the right track to disrupting the whole animation industry!
Main Photo by Brett Jordan.
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