Pandemic Studios

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Pandemic Studios
Former type Subsidiary of Electronic Arts
Industry Interactive entertainment
Computer and video games
Founded Santa Monica, California, United States (1998)
Defunct 2009
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people Andrew Goldman, CEO
Josh Resnick, President
Products Full Spectrum Warrior
Star Wars: Battlefront (I & II)
Destroy All Humans! (I & II)
Mercenaries series
(See complete products listing)
Website http://www.pandemicstudios.com/ (archived version 2009)

Pandemic Studios was founded as an independent developer in 1998, it became an Electronic Arts-owned developer from 2007 to 2009, when it was officially closed. It was an American and Australian video game developer with offices in Los Angeles, California and Brisbane, Australia. Notable titles include Full Spectrum Warrior, Star Wars: Battlefront, Dark Reign 2, Destroy All Humans!, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, Star Wars: Battlefront II and The Saboteur.

History[edit]

The company's president was Josh Resnick and its CEO was Andrew Goldman — both formerly worked at Activision, and Pandemic was founded with an equity investment by Activision in 1998. Pandemic's first two games, Battlezone II and Dark Reign 2, were both sequels to Activision games.

In 2000, Pandemic opened a satellite studio in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley. The first project was Army Men: RTS, a console RTS game using the Dark Reign 2 engine. The studio later developed Destroy All Humans!. In 2003, the Los Angeles studio moved from its founding location at Santa Monica to a high-rise building in Westwood.

In November 2005, it was announced that Pandemic and BioWare would be joining forces, with private equity fund Elevation Partners investing in the partnership. Both companies retained their brands and identities.[1] On October 11, 2007, it was announced that VG Holding Corp., the owners of BioWare and Pandemic Studios, would be acquired by Electronic Arts as of January 2008, subject to FTC approval.[2]

In February 2009, their office in Brisbane, Australia was shut down.[3] In November 2009, Electronic Arts cut a total of 1,500 jobs which affected various studios, including shutting down of Pandemic. On November 17, 2009, EA officially confirmed Pandemic Studios' closure, laying off 228 employees. EA absorbed 35 Pandemic employees to support The Saboteur and an unannounced project which was later revealed to be Mercs Inc, a sequel to the Mercenaries series.[4][5] In response, a few former employees of Pandemic created an Office Space-style video where they are shown smashing their office printer.[6]

Over a dozen former Pandemic developers are now employed at 343 Industries having worked on Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 4.[7]

Games[edit]

Pandemic Studios developed the first two main titles of the successful Star Wars: Battlefront series namely Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Battlefront II as well as Full Spectrum Warrior and the Mercenaries series. The studio also developed the last game in the Army Men published by 3DO, Army Men: RTS. The studio was also responsible for developing the first two games in the Destroy All Humans! series, and its final project released was The Saboteur.

At time of closure the studio still had multiple projects in development namely Project X and Y which are listed on Pandemic's official site. Project X has been listed since 2007 while Project Y was recently listed in 2009. Soon after the studio's closure it was revealed that Project Y was Mercs Inc, a new title in the Mercenaries series which is being developed by Pandemic Studios at EALA, the Project Y listing on the official site disappeared when the game was announced.[4] In addition, another main Mercenaries game, Mercenaries 3: No Limits, was in production at the time of the studio's closure and was subsequently cancelled.[8] Many projects that were being developed at Pandemic's Brisbane studios were also cancelled when it closed including The Dark Knight and two unannounced games, Project B and Q.

Release
Date
Title(s) Genre(s)/Notes Platform(s)
1999 Battlezone II First-person shooter, real-time strategy Windows
2000 Dark Reign 2 Real-time strategy Windows
2002 Triple Play 2002 Sports
Army Men: RTS Real-time strategy Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows,
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Action Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
2004 Full Spectrum Warrior Real-time tactics, Combat Simulation PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows
Star Wars: Battlefront First-person shooter, third-person shooter PlayStation 2, Macintosh, Windows, Xbox
2005 Star Wars: Battlefront II First-person shooter, third-person shooter PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction Third-person shooter PlayStation 2, Xbox
Destroy All Humans! Third-person shooter, Adventure PlayStation 2, Xbox
2006 Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers Real-time tactics, Combat Simulation PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
Destroy All Humans! 2 Third-person shooter, Adventure PlayStation 2, Xbox
2008 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Third-person shooter PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
2009 The Lord of the Rings: Conquest Action PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS
The Saboteur Action/adventure, Third-person shooter, Stealth PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Cancelled The Dark Knight[9] Tie-in to The Dark Knight (film) PlayStation 3
Mercenaries 3 Third title in the Mercenaries series PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
The Next Big Thing Previously titled No Limits Racing.
The project was supposed to utilize Miis and
feature celebrity cameos like Mr. T and David Hasselhoff.
Wii

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bioware & Pandemic Merge" (News). TotalGaming.net. November 3, 2005. 
  2. ^ "EA To Acquire BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios". 
  3. ^ "Pandemic Brisbane Shut Down". Ausgamers.com. February 11, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Stephen Totilo (November 24, 2009). [update "EA Makes Mercs Inc, A New "Pandemic" Game, Official [UPDATE]"]. Kotaku. Retrieved November 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ Brian Crecente (November 17, 2009). "Confirmed: EA Closes Pandemic Studios, Says Brand Will Live On". Kotaku. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  6. ^ Kotaku (November 23, 2009). "Pandemic Studios Says Goodbye Geek Gangsta Style". Kotaku. Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Microsoft hires ex-Pandemic members for new Halo game". gamer.blorge.com. November 21, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ Luke Plunkett (November 15, 2010). "Your First (And Last) Look At Mercenaries 3". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Screwing Up Batman".