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Report: Electronic Arts Cuts Ties With Pandemic Brisbane?

Report: Electronic Arts Cuts Ties With Pandemic Brisbane?

January 14, 2009 | By David Jenkins

January 14, 2009 | By David Jenkins
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More: Console/PC



Electronic Arts has reportedly cut its ties with Pandemic Studios’ offices in Brisbane, Australia, with some associated layoffs, according to unconfirmed media reports.

Citing a "reliable source", a report on blog site Kotaku claims that the Australian studio has been 'set free', but will retain its original intellectual properties and equipment.

The unnamed source further comments that, "It was more of a 'Find a new publisher. Good luck.' kind of thing."

EA acquired Pandemic Studios and partner BioWare Corp. in 2007, including all of Pandemic’s studios in the U.S. and Australia. The Brisbane studio is best known for the Destroy All Humans! franchise; the studio has recently been working on unannounced project.

The source suggests that the studio’s secret project is an "open world reality show" game called The Next Big Thing for Wii. The report also claims Pandemic Brisbane may have been working on the rumored but unconfirmed The Dark Knight game -- the non-appearance of which analysts suggest could have cost EA over $100 million in missed revenues.

[UPDATE: EA spokesperson Mariam Sughayer says the company's currently not commenting any further beyond its previously-announced reduction initiatives until its February earnings call.

"In December, EA announced a cost reduction initiative that will impact facilities and headcount," Sughayer said in a statement. "We do not expect to make any more public announcements until our earnings call in early February."

"Outside of our scheduled earnings call, we aren’t providing any new information on the status of individual facilities."]

[UPDATE 2: According to the weblog of Tony Albrecht, a former programmer at Pandemic Australia, there have been at least some layoffs at the studio, including himself - though he has subsequently found a new position elsewhere in the Australian game industry.]


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