The promised announcement from the owner came and didn't surprise many: due to the absolute chaos as well as damaged reputation of the owner, the servers are permanently shutdown with the community in "pause/closed mode" with the possibility of Lemonpunch to "come back sooner or later, but it will probably be very different". The link to the article: https://lemonpunch.net/threads/the-announcement.48082/.
After leaving Lemonpunch, one of the biggest Garry's Mod HL2 roleplay communities, for several months due to the possibly shady dealings (allegedly doxxing competitors and DDOSing their servers) as well as other rather worrying signs (developers and staff working (and expected to do so) for free despite the community being ran by a registered company) of the owner, I've come back today to check on the community's forums only to see absolute chaos: spamming, staff resigning and calling out the owner for (apparently) his wrongdoings, reports of mass hysteria within the actual servers (no moderation, firefights, essentially the opposite of what a roleplay community should do).
The core issues:
After observing the mess and trying to gather the facts, the tl;dr seems to be that one of the main developers, "AlexGrist", who was doing the bulk of the work, decided to quit after learning that the founder "Gurrazor" (who, in both my experience and many others, seems to have done minimal work) refused to honor a (possible) promise to split the company's shares 50/50 and wanted to keep all 100%. From the founder's perspective, he claims to have never promised such thing and claims that the promised 50/50 was in case the company was going to pursue a bigger project (specifically developing an Unreal Engine game). The twist is that since the promise for the 50/50 was informal, so was the licensing situation in regards to the software the main developer worked/improved on. This meant that since the main developer (who was also one of the server directors) left, the servers could no longer legally use the modified script (though the developer doesn't seem to be trying to push any legal claims) and more importantly they can't (perhaps even legally) patch the script for every Garry's Mod update that (apparently) are known to slowly break various user made scripts, leaving the entire game mode to suffer a slow death as bugs start to accumulate.
The majority (or at least quite a huge part) of the community instantly rallied behind the developer and demanded the founder and owner of the company to step down and transfer over ownership of all assets related to the community over to the developer or one of the voluntary staff. The owner, in multiple Teamspeak discussions with Lemonpunch staff, refused handing it over, claiming to have tried to negotiate some sort of different terms with the developer or suggesting that he will be "restructuring" Lemonpunch into something (possibly entirely) different. He then shutdown the 3 servers operated by Lemonpunch, hid the discussion sections for it, (apparently) banned some Lemonpunch members speaking out against/attacking/mocking him as well as (apparently) deleted several threads criticizing/mocking/attacking him. Afterwhich, he announced that there will be an announcement on Tuesday clearing things up, as, like one Lemonpunch user put it, "Rome is burning".
Although having spent much less time playing on the server than many of the prominent users (though I'd still say I spent at least a hundred hours), I still invested quite a lot of time roleplaying, developing characters, exploring and meeting new people as well as creating a small (failed) faction and posting various backstories of my characters on the forums. Though some parts of the community could be described as "4chan's /b/ lite" (minus the dangerous malice and NSFW stuff) in terms of interaction with other users, it also brought together quite a few talented and interesting people. One of the users wrote such good HL2 fan-fiction stories with interesting characters, their development, meaningful action scenes as well as calm and serene dialogue, that even I, the last person you'd expect to be picking up a book, read them captivated by the plot despite having to wake up early in the morning the next day.
In fact, if I hadn't played and interacted on Lemonpunch forums, I wouldn't be here, writing this since I found Ross's videos through a post that linked to a small snippet of Freeman's Mind, intended as a meme. Now I'm an extremely huge fan of Ross's work, having watched nearly all of his videos (save 1 or 2) multiple (possibly up to 10-20 for a few Game Dungeons) times, with every new video brightening up even the crappiest of days (or helping me slog through extremely exhausting studying sessions at night before exams). It really saddens me that it has come to this, no matter whose fault it is. In the end the entire community suffers, unless something magical happens and the promised announcement solves all problems.
Explanation from a prominent Lemonpunch members (who may or may not have been part of the (paid or unpaid) development team) (requires Steam login, see quote bellow instead): https://lemonpunch.net/threads/the-director-of-thriving-ventures-vs-bastion-2-reckoning.48045/
The resignation thread of the developer "AlexGrist" (requires Steam login, see quote bellow instead): https://lemonpunch.net/threads/i-wish-it-could-be-different-goodbye.47729/
Teamspeak discussions among Lemonpunch staff and the owner ("Gurrazor"). I suggest turning down the audio since a few of the particpants (as well as the maker of the video at the start) blast really loud and (intentionally) annoying sounds on occasion:
1st / Day 1 discussion:
2nd / Day 2 discussion:
Quoted explanation thread ("The director of Thriving ventures vs Bastion 2: reckoning"):
Quoted resignation thread ("I wish it could be different. Goodbye"):