Ever since the blockbuster Electronic Arts buyout of Bioware/Pandemic, 2 years ago, rumors have swirled about the future of Pandemic– a studio known for their work on Star Wars: Battlefront, Destroy all Humans!, Mercenaries, and, currently, The Saboteur. Well, it seems like some of those rumors may have finally been true.
Effective immediately, the formally independent Pandemic studio is being shutdown, and many of the employees being laid off. Only a “core team” of the team will be reassigned to EA Los Angeles.
Brown on the news:
“Today we informed employees at Pandemic that development on all the Pandemic franchises is being consolidated at EALA. As a result, we are eliminating roughly 200 positions at Pandemic.
“That said, EA is very committed to the Pandemic brand, and a core team of Pandemic developers will be developing existing franchises and other projects at EALA.”
However, this closure will not affect the release of The Saboteur; which is slated for release early next month.
Pandemic’s run with EA as its parent company has not been good. The company’s first title, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames received widespread disapproval. Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Pandemic’s second title, was not much better received. Although sales figures are not available at this time, it is safe to assume both of these games produced abysmal sales figures.
It should be noted–before the buyout, 2 years ago, Pandemic made absolutely stellar games, all of which were commercial success.
What are your opinions on this matter? Is this just Electronic Arts trying to make a good business move? Or is there something deeper going on here? Post yours thoughts and feelings in the comments section below.