Pandemic closes as EA sends The Saboteur “to die”

After the confirmation that EA has closed down the developers behind Mercenaries, Pandemic Studios, a candid employee reveals exactly where the blame lies.

We previously reported on the rumour that EA was set to lay off the entire Pandemic studio. These folks brought us Mercenaries in 2005, returning in 2008 with the not so well received World in Flames.

EA bought the studio, alongside BioWare, in 2007 and though the enormous publisher is been enamoured with Pandemic’s Mass Effect-making cousins, EA has had Pandemic on the blocks for some time.

It has officially been revealed that EA will be closing down the studio, with more than two-hundred jobs lost. An internal memo breaks the news, though EA SVP Nick Earl explains that the studio will not be gone for good:

I want to make it clear that the Pandemic brand and franchises will live on. In the months ahead, we will announce plans for new games based on Pandemic franchises.

Key members of the Pandemic team will be consolidated into EA Los Angeles, though the studio’s two secret in-development games may be cut for “better” things.

One of the members of Pandemic has come out today on the NeoGAF forums pinning blame on the studio’s management, rather than EA execs:

The reason why the studio closed down has everything to do with the existing Pandemic management. From what we were told, Pandemic management was given free reign to do as they please.

Time and time again, they dropped the ball with bad decisions (promoting/keeping people based on loyalty, no production accountability, mis-allocation of resources, poor milestone objectives, no mentoring, etc.) It’s a true shame, as there was a lot of talent and passion at the studio.

I wouldn’t necessarily hate on JR and EA’s execs just yet. In my eyes, they probably made the right decision as Pandemic cost a lot to upkeep and, quite frankly, the last few products weren’t up to snuff.

The Pandemic developer of five years then goes on to talk about their latest video game; The Saboteur. He not only argues that it’s the studio’s best game to date, but that EA will not be supporting it as they should.

One more thing I will say: EA is totally sending Saboteur out to die. And it’s a fucking shame. It’s easily Pandemic’s best game yet. Of course, I am a bit biased having worked on the game for so long.

If you were disappointed with Mercs2 and LOTR (who wasn’t) and enjoyed previous Pandemic games, give Saboteur a shot.

We’ll be sure to give The Saboteur a gander when it releases this December.

Readers Comments (6)

  1. Wow, ridiculous stuff.. Looking forward to the Saboteur though, so I’ll be giving it a go.

  2. The Saboteur is on my Christmas list.

  3. that sucks another studio down, I was looking forward to the saboteur

  4. And I was not.I didn’t like a single game made by them,so for me Pandemic is like…meh…

  5. These guys brought us the Star Wars Battlefront series, one of the best games on the PS2. Shame to see them go. :/

  6. The Saboteur has been one of my personal most anticipated games for 2009 and look forward to having my copy on release date.

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