Rumor: EA Axes Pandemic Brisbane (Updated)

By Chris Faylor, Jan 14, 2009 8:53am PST Update: There have been some layoffs at Pandemic Brisbane, as programmer Tony Albrecht's blog confirms that he was "made redundant." In the comments, Albrecht confirms that he has already found a new position elsewhere.

Original: Electronic Arts has cut ties with its subsidiary Pandemic Brisbane, according to multiple reports. However, the studio is not closed, with Kotaku's source claiming that the severance was "was more of a 'Find a new publisher. Good luck.' kind of thing."

Brisbane will reportedly retain the rights to its original property as well as its equipment. According to one source, the studio was working on a Wii release titled The Next Big Thing, described as an "open world reality show."

Pandemic Brisbane represented half of the developer behind such games as Mercenaries, Star Wars: Battlefront, and The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, with the Australian office responsible for the first two Destroy All Humans! games.

The branch was rumored to be working on a Batman movie tie-in for The Dark Knight, which was reportedly cancelled due to budget issues and missed deadlines.

Pandemic's other half, Pandemic Los Angeles, is not affected by the closure, according to Games On Net. EA acquired Pandemic and BioWare in 2007 for $860 million.

When reached for comment, Electronic Arts told Gamasutra that it will not provide more details on its cost-cutting measures until February. The company previously said it would close "at least" nine facilities in order to save about $120 million per year.

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