Game studios have been dropping like flies lately, and as one might expect, software giant EA is leading the charge for the now-popular practice of mass liquidation. With many smaller studios already sent to the scrap heap, it seems EA will be giving one of its more profitable development houses the axe fairly soon.
After announcing earlier this month that they would be cutting more than 1,500 jobs, EA has confirmed that Pandemic, the studio behind The Saboteur and Mercenaries 2, will be closing its doors and slowly sinking into the horizon alongside the setting sun. Or maybe that’s just an unrendered tree? Sorry, these draw distances are terrible. But In all seriousness, Pandemic’s liquidation signifies a major change in EA’s cost-cutting strategies, and will leave hundreds of employees jobless on the eve of the studio’s latest release, The Saboteur. In the wake of these massive layoffs, EA has said that a “core team” of Pandemic’s remaining employees will be shipped off to EA’s Los Angeles studio, alongside Pandemic’s IP and brand name.
No doubt EA’s slash-and-burn approach to game development is being taken poorly by those affected, especially since these terminations occurred immediately following the publisher’s acquisition of casual Facebook game developer Playfish. EA is expecting the redundancies will save the company $100 million annually, and believes the consolidation will yield “quality, cost management, and schedule integrity.”