From: Los Angeles, Califonia
This seems like a positive development.
TAOW has been around along time, and has an outstanding community. I don't see it as a "nich market" product, but it doesn't have the sales of titles like "Halo" or other major console products or PC games (say, Civilization 1,2,3,4, & 5). Matrix is a business, and exists to make money. Customer support is a part of the equation. They do a better job than most other software companies. This is gaming software, not Microsoft Office.
Companies like Matrix will focus most of their time & money on products with the best prospects: new games, or major overhauls, like the (Matrix) release of TAOW III.
IMO, we get a great bang for our buck, and a reasonable level of support. Keeping one person on tap to support older titles that are still popular is more than most companies do. The guy that was covering TAOW ran into some problems. So what? Most of the real work is done by the community; people like Herr Oberst, Bob Cross, Larry Fulkerson (and a LONG list of others who keep TAOW alive & well).
I hope I am not out of line or just plain misinformed, but, as I understand it, Ralph is the person who modifies the code for the game, which was purchased from Talonsoft, or maybe Norm Koger. Ralph is paid by Matrix to keep and old but popular title current, issuing occasional updates. Other than modifying the program code and overseeing modifications to a title, the real work is done by people from the TAOW community who donate their time because they enjoy the it, and the fellowship.
I'll just wait & see (like I could do anything other than enjoy playing and play-testing scenarios for TAOW anyway).