â??Ex-Pandemicâ?? in management outburst

â??Ex-Pandemicâ?? in management outburst

By Rob Crossley

November 19th 2009 at 3:11PM

â??Blame Pandemic management not EAâ??, alleged developer says

A purported former developer at defunct studio Pandemic has broken his silence on the state of the studio before EA gave it the axe.

The alleged developer – writing anonymously on a gaming forum – slammed Pandemic’s management and said that EA probably made the right decision to close the studio down.

“I can tell you one thing. The reason why the studio closed down has everything to do with the existing Pandemic management,” read the post.

“From what we were told, Pandemic management was given free reign to do as they please. Time and time again, they dropped the ball with bad decisions – no production accountability, misallocation of resources, poor milestone objectives, no mentoring, etc.”

Speaking of EA’s move to close the studio, the forum post cited high overheads and managerial incompetence as a “pretty convincing case to cut your ties and call it a day.”

The forum poster claimed he had been working on Pandemic’s upcoming title The Saboteur before being handed his notice.

“I think many of you would be surprised how much a game like Saboteur costs to make – think around 100 people for 3 years, and about more people for about 2 years.

“I wouldn't necessarily hate on [John Riccitiello] and EA's execs just yet. In my eyes, they probably made the right decision as Pandemic cost a lot to upkeep and, quite frankly, the last few products weren't up to snuff,” he added, referring to Mercenaries 2 and Lord of the Rings: Conquest.

The validity of the NeoGaf forum post itself cannot be confirmed, though its legitimacy has seldom been questioned in the scores of subsequent posts.

Speaking broadly on the Pandemic closure, the forum poster spoke of “bittersweet” emotions having just finished development on new EA IP The Saboteur.

“We are extremely proud of the game it turned out to be, considering the amount of hardships we had during development,” he said.

But the post then turned on EA for electing to release the new IP in the Christmas period – a time where new IP tends to drift into obscurity as publishers push their key sellable properties.

“EA is totally sending Saboteur out to die,” read the post, “and it's a fucking shame. It's easily Pandemic's best game yet. If you were disappointed with Mercs2 and LOTR (who wasn't?) and enjoyed previous Pandemic games, give Saboteur a shot.”