EA: Pandemic Not Closing, But Consolidating

By Chris Faylor, Nov 17, 2009 12:14pm PST Despite the shuttering of its current Los Angeles-based office and a significant reduction in its workforce, Mercenaries and The Saboteur series developer Pandemic will live on through a "core team," studio owner Electronic Arts tells Shacknews.

"Pandemic Studios and its franchises will be relocated to the EALA facility in nearby Playa Vista," explained the company. "This move has resulted in a reduction in the work force at Pandemic...That said, the Pandemic brand and franchises will continue to live on. A core team of Pandemic developers will move to EALA and continue development on Pandemic games with a focus on quality, cost management and schedule integrity."

The consolidation is part of Electronic Arts' recently revealed cost reduction plan, which aims to save the company roughly $100 million through "the closure of several facilities and a headcount reduction of approximately 1,500 positions." EA acquired Pandemic alongside Mass Effect developer BioWare for $860 million back in 2007.

The fate of Pandemic's two unannounced projects remains unclear, with the studio's long-coming World War II stealth-action game The Saboteur due on December 8.

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10 Threads | 28 Comments

  • How to run a game studio:

    1) Interview only candidates with college degrees, because of the highest standards of well rounded American education they must know what they are doing, love what they do, and didn't just go to college to make a lot of money, right? CHECK

    2) Hire only those who won't question anything to much, are OK with not having a spec, and spend all their time programming and never play games. CHECK

    3) Promote a friend or someone outside the industry who is a good bullshitter, I mean communicator to produce the game and one to project manage the game. After all the most important thing is that they can promote the game to magazines and tell people what they want to hear.

    4) Hire some game designers who are really arty and cool and have a BA in communications or art. Game is art, and who says game design means actually designing the game before you start working? Man that is just too cramp'n my style.

    5) Let everyone have a say in the technology used and the game design. Oh, and we are on a deadline so we will need to decide at the next meeting.

    6) In order to cut cost and meet this self imposed deadline of christmas 2010 we will skip prerequisite, design, and project planning.

    7) Finally, since we put so much time into this great plan we don't really need qualified software testers who can have a career and grow with our company, so we'll hire some gamers on contract and pay the contract agency 20+ bucks to play the kids $8-12. It isn't like we are going to have any bugs anyways. Besides we have a producer and project manager to make sure everything goes well.

    WHAT! What do you mean you going to shut our studio down because we are millions over budget, years behind, and quality is horrible?

    In that case I have plan B:

    1) In the event a game doesn't do well we will fire all the people who made it, because it would be to hard to figure out who was actually doing their job right.

    2) We will keep upper management since, well since we are all friends and the only thing we did wrong was hire, plan, and manage the project.

    3) We will keep the IP because "we will learn from our mistakes and this time everything will be OK' and tell everyone the studio isn't closing, it is just going with "core" (management) team.

    4) What is that? That is great. So what you are saying is that even though the game was buggy and not very fun our core audience of 15-25 still bought the game.


    So, even though it was over budget and late you made a lot of money.

    Go on.

    Since we go way back you want to give us $40 more million to make another game?


    If we promise that THIS time we won't fire everyone after the game is done and that we will actually fix any bugs, or better, not ship with major bugs, gamers will forgive us and buy it because it is a sequel. After all, games just have bugs. I mean what do you expect from a bunch of college educate developers, it isn't like we are engineering here.

    Oh, it is called software engineering because it is engineering? Well they are just gamers they won't realize. After all it is just a game. If it come crashing down it isn't like people are going to die. Besides they are only out their money and they like reading happy stories about us like this one: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=26071

    5) So now that we have this $40 million in funds we need to hire a new team. Hey, look there are 200 out of work game developers, I bet we can get them on the cheap given how bad the economy is. Plus, as a bonus I know some of these guys!

    THE END.... until this game ships