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Old 11-19-2009, 03:25 AM   #1
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Pandemic's Final Days

PANDEMIC'S FINAL DAYS


US, November 18, 2009 - On Wednesday, publisher Electronic Arts confirmed rumors that it had decided to close down Pandemic Studios. The developer, which made Destroy All Humans!, Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Mercenaries 2 and had just wrapped production on Saboteur, is the latest casualty of an industry trying to adapt to the wants and needs of gamers and simultaneously struggling against an economic downturn.

"The first warning sign was the EA financial call in November in which it announced it was cutting 1500 jobs around the world," said a former Pandemic employee, who offered us an insider's view of software maker's last 48 hours on the condition of anonymity. "That's when some eyebrows started to raise. But even then we were thinking, 'Well, maybe it won't be us.'"

Pandemic was, however, named as a potential target for layoffs by various online sites and trades -- speculation which didn't go unnoticed by company employees. At the time, studio heads Andrew Goldman and Josh Resnick allegedly assured employees that such speculation was premature and that EA had not yet made any decisions.

Shortly after its financial earnings call, EA spokespeople clarified that several hundred of the 1,500 planned layoffs would fall within the realm of development, which was when some Pandemic employees really started to worry. With no concrete information to go around, though, employees could do little more than keep working and hope for the best. The Saboteur team put the finishing touches on the North American versions of the game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, finished them, submitted them for approval and made it through the process. Meanwhile, two additional teams began preliminary work on new projects, at least one of which was a sequel to a popular Pandemic franchise.


Then, on Monday, one day before EA closed down the company, rumors of Pandemic's impending demise broke on the Internet.

"We heard that tomorrow is the day, so if we needed anything that's really important, we better bring it home tonight," the insider revealed. Many employees believed that when they showed up the next morning, the doors would be locked and they would not be able to gain access to any of their belongings. "People definitely responded to it. People were leaving with a lot of personal items."

That night, rumors spread that the closure would take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The next morning, Pandemic employees rigged an LCD into a makeshift countdown clock.

"We had a timer counting down to 11:00 a.m. and people actually cheered and counted down: 10, 9, 8, 7..." the former employee said.

For some, there was a mixed sense of accomplishment and failure. Saboteur was a game with a troubled development cycle, but in the final days leading up to Pandemic's closure, the team had at last gotten it out the door. Some members were celebrating that even as the clock ticked down to 11:00 a.m.

Any doubt that the company might sidestep mass layoffs and closure was put to rest on Tuesday morning as employees arrived.

"As we were filing into the office our last day, there was a group of men downstairs in casual business attire wearing single-name name badges. Mike, Joe, Jeff. Stuff like that," he said. "As we walked past them, they would see us. At one point, they took the elevators upstairs; some were carrying briefcases and they looked like the mafia had showed up. EA was in full force. It was pretty clear that we weren't going to be sneaking any monitors out."

The suits met with employees, helped them understand their severance packages, tried to assist them in acquiring new work, and so on. The Pandemic higher-ups were not spotted on premises during the final day, but sent out widespread e-mails thanking former employees for their time and energy throughout the years. They said it had been a great ride.

And with that, Pandemic Studios was gone.


Retrieved from IGN

http://au.wii.ign.com/articles/104/1047198p1.html
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:47 AM   #2
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:38 AM   #3
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And which one was that?
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:13 AM   #4
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:47 AM   #5
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Doesn't bother me, they never really released many good games anyway.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #6
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If EA was smart, they would have done this a long time ago and rescued FRD from the mediocrity which is Crytek.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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If EA was smart, they would have done this a long time ago and rescued FRD from the mediocrity which is Crytek.
I hate EA more than Crytek, but at least EA would do something with Timesplitters 4.

I didn't care much for Pandemic, but it was a cool story nonetheless. I like the countdown LCD. They had the right attitude about it, at least.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I hate EA more than Crytek, but at least EA would do something with Timesplitters 4.

I didn't care much for Pandemic, but it was a cool story nonetheless. I like the countdown LCD. They had the right attitude about it, at least.
I'm in high doubts that TS4 will ever happen now...
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:00 PM   #9
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I'm in high doubts that TS4 will ever happen now...
Why?
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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