Digital Bruckheimer: Cameron Brown On Mercenaries 2
April 17, 2008 Page 2 of 9
You talked about going through changes at Pandemic. First of all, did this game actually start before you were acquired by Elevation Partners?
CB: Um, yeah, only just. Like, we shipped Mercs early '05, obviously, and the team did a bunch of other stuff -- I personally went and worked on Destroy All Humans a little bit, some of the other guys we know worked on Battlefront II -- we made a couple of internal demos, and looked around at some different IPs before settling on Mercs 2.
And at the start of Mercs 2 we actually had primarily an engine development team for almost a year, we were just working on tech and tools, and really upgrading our pipelines to next-gen.
So the game itself, we didn't really get seriously into until probably the beginning of '06 -- and at that time, we really focused on the PS3. Spent a long time making sure that we were squared away with the PS3. And yeah, it started before the Elevation acquisition.
It's interesting to see people's reaction to EA, and the changes that had been happening at EA. What's your take on that, and how has it affected your project?
CB: Well, I have to say there has not been much... I've really said, there has been no direct impact on the day-to-day development. At least not so far. I think there's been some significant changes to -- we've had to integrate parts of it, the active side of the business, and obviously there is a huge, and very interesting, frankly, resource pool.
We're starting to talk to some of the other teams, and kind of start to share some of the techniques. It's really interesting to be interacting with the Burnout team, or the Godfather 2 team, or just reach out to some of those teams who do work that we're really big fans of -- kind of see what they're doing, and just compare notes. So that's pretty fun.
But, really, so far, in day-to-day development? I think we haven't really noticed a difference. It was kind of the same under Elevation. And that was really the goal -- we felt like we've figured out a pretty good way to, in our own kind of scratch way, to make fun and cool games. And I don't think anyone's got an agenda to really mess with that. So, so far so good.
I know, of course, everyone who works in the industry has an opinion on EA, and their reputation, but our experience has been great. For us, it's kind of interesting, because John Riccitiello was, obviously, deeply involved in Elevation, and was really, really a big advocate of that model. So, when he moved back to EA, he took back a lot of the stuff that he'd been thinking about with Elevation.
And to my eye -- and I'm not proclaiming to be a biz dev expert or anything like that -- it seems to me that he's really applying some of those principles that were behind Elevation. And so far, the kind of "games label" model, and working under Frank Gibeau, from my perspective, has been a delight. Frank's a really smart, really, really sharp guy. So far it's just been a really positive relationship and a help.
And I think for Mercs 3, and for other projects moving into the future, I personally am very excited at doing a much more thorough survey of the technologies, and tools, and information, and resources -- you know, like the usability stuff -- there's a lot of stuff that a big company like EA has that a smaller company like Pandemic just doesn't.
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