Leak prompts EA to reveal new Pandemic game

Leak prompts EA to reveal new Pandemic game
Michael French

By Michael French

November 24th 2009 at 8:27PM

Mercenaries to live on post-restructure at EA LA, publisher confesses

The closure of EA's Pandemic studio and the layoff of its 200 employees was the talk of the industry last week - but the publisher isn't quite done with the label's IP yet.

This evening the firm has confirmed the production of Mercs Inc, a new game in the early stages of development at EALA.

A new instalment of the Mercenaries franchise which helped build Pandemic's pre-EA-acquisition reputation, first details on the game were actually first leaked last night (seemingly by a former employee) via a pitch video released online that showed the prototype game running.

The video shows Mercs Inc as a multiplayer take on the open world destruction title.

EA says the confirmation shows its commitment to Pandemic's work and that "the first Pandemic game to be developed by the studio at its new home in Playa Vista".

That's despite shuttering the main studio last week, losing its co-founders and moving the remaining staff and projects to EALA. The latest Pandemic title, The Saboteur, is released next week.

EA says platforms for the game had not been decided. However as pointed out by Superannuation the resumes of former Pandemic employees said the game was originally planned for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

It's possible EA is turning the title into a PC-based multiplayer title - potentially one with no retail release, as it did with Battlefield 1943, and has hinted it will do with Command & Conquer.

"We are very excited to announce a new instalment in the popular Mercenaries series because it demonstrates our continued commitment to Pandemic's rich catalogue of intellectual properties," said Nick Earl, SVP and group GM at EA in the statement confirming the game's initial announcement.

"From the studio at EALA, a core creative team is forging new ground and conceptualising new ideas for this exciting franchise."