EALA arming new Mercenaries

One week after laying off most of Pandemic, EA reveals next installment in guns-for-hire series; leaked pitch trailer suggests multiplayer focus.

Last week, Electronic Arts confirmed the layoffs of roughly 200 staffers at its Pandemic Studios. Though it would not say how many staffers remained, the publisher did confirm the retained members of the Mercenaries 2 developer were being folded into the EA's nearby Los Angeles studio. EA vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown also emphasized the Pandemic brand would live on at EA after the majority of its staff--including its three founders--had departed.

A preliminary logo for Mercs Inc., the IPO for which will not occur for some time.

Today, EA revealed a new game that would bear the Pandemic name, temporarily titled Mercs Inc. Unfortunately, that's about all the company revealed. In a statement, EA senior VP and group general manager Nick Earl said that at EALA, "a core creative team is forging new ground and conceptualizing new ideas" for the series. He did not announce any platforms or release dates.

Luckily, a little more light was shed on Mercs Inc. by a pitch video unearthed by game sleuthing blog Superannuation. At less than a minute long, the clip features a wealth of characters leaning out of speeding cars to shoot similarly situated opponents. The trailer emphasizes cooperative and competitive multiplayer action, stating that players can play with, drive with, or simply kill their friends. Ironically, the visual artist who posted the trailer onto video-sharing site Vimeo laments that it had been canceled by EA in the clip's description.

[UPDATE] The video has now been flagged private and is no longer viewable by the public. A blurry screen-capture is included to give some sense of its preliminary graphics.

An unpolished screen capture of the Mercs Inc. pitch video's pre-alpha graphics.

Mercs Inc. isn't the only new Pandemic title on the way. Next month, the last project from the fully staffed version of the developer will see the light of day. Set for release December 8 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, The Saboteur is an open-world action adventure game where players take on the role of a resistance fighter in Nazi-occupied France.

For more on the last installment of the Mercenaries series, check out GameSpot's review of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.

Written By

Want the latest news about Mercenaries 3?

Mercenaries 3

Mercenaries 3

Follow

Discussion

112 comments
Keaze_
Keaze_

@Blackjack95 MW2 on veteran is actually not very hard.

Keaze_
Keaze_

I'm extremely hyped about this, as mercenaries 2 is one of the games that can provide the most fun. But first they have probably cancelled this, and second we all know it won't be anything NEAR what we want. It will most likely suck. They will give the whole game a big makeover, and remove everything that made it good, most likely. Go EA!

Tny115
Tny115

Pandemic has faded in to dust, and along with it mercs 3

shootinggamer11
shootinggamer11

Well, for starters I thought that Mercenaries 3 was going to be made in 2009 or 2010. I really hope that the setting will be in India because at the end of Mercenaries 2 Fiona said, " How do you fell about India? ". If it doesn't take place in India I'm going to be pissed. And there better be Mattias, Chris, and Jennifer, Fiona, Eva, Ewan, and Misha. I don't care about anything else. The last thing is that I pray that Mercs 3 has the same director and producer as in Mercs 2 and that Mercs 3 follows the same story as in Mercs 2. What I mean is that I think Mercs 3 should be about killing someone betraying one of the characters just like Solano did to Mattias, Chris, or Jennifer and probably about oil or something very popular in the economy. Also, why in the name of God would EA fire over 200 staff members of Pandemic? That's just messed up. So that's all I have to say.

Zyclobonzaron
Zyclobonzaron

It better still be open world!!! In fact, it should be exactly like the first one, except with way better graphics, a bigger world, and more weapons. You can never have too many weapons.

JeWiShCoWbOy77
JeWiShCoWbOy77

if this does come out it needs to be more like the first like a real PMC in a possible conflict like the cold war, blood and gore, a cheat to make everyone a zombie, AND MORE AIRSTRIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Habast
Habast

so... is this still in the works?

devastion913
devastion913

EA seems to have a habit of ruining all franchises it touches (except for a few, battlefield is still good), such as mercenaries and command and conquer. now i didnt think mercs 2 was that bad, it was still fun and i played it alot but it was FARRRR from what i had expected. the health mechanics were retarded, area-of-effect airatrikes require you to throw a smoke grenade (wheres the logic in this?) and when i heard they were "playing with fire" for in game fire effects i immediatly got excited because i thought "awesome, we are going to have a napalm strike". no napalm. the multiplayer was tacked on at best and while it was fun offered little to know challenge. the biggest problem with the game was bugs and glitches. one mission in particular was problematic. china, mission 1. where you have to rescue the chinese agent from the top of a skyscraper. all the times i played this mission i estimate that over 50% of the time, unless you drive straight to the building, the agent will end up "falling off" the building, ending the mission. which was a pain because you got alot of free airstrikes if you looked around. for mercs 3 they need to go back to mercs 1 and re-evaluate why that was the most popular, most highly reviewed game of the series. in my opinion they should throw the multiplayer out the window, thats not what got the series to where it is (or was). a little more polish wouldnt hurt either, considering mercs 2 was about as buggy as morrowind.

suberbard
suberbard

u guys are not even talking about mercs inc

blackjack95
blackjack95

nineteen93@ the reason the AI could not be so hard to defeat is because it would be like doing COD4/MW2 on veteran difficulty witch is hard enough but with one shot kills by tanks,helicopters and other things would make it impossiblr to play let alone win sara palin :D

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

I just want Battlefront 3...which wasn't with Pandemic when is got dissolved and absorbed, so I dunno why I'm even talking about it here and now. Please go and kidnap some of the starved devs form EA's basement and get a move on with BF3.

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

I cant wait for the Saboteur. Lets hope it ends the possibility of another game with the fully staffed version of Pandemic with a bang. *Pun very much intended*

buft
buft

hey if its bug free and more like the first game i'll buy it, i kinda still smarting from all my missing achievements from mercs 2 as it just stopped giving them out after about an hour of playtime and the game wasn't good enough to warrant a 2nd playthrough

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

please have a good simgleplayer or cancel it now

ednamod15
ednamod15

it'll just hurt me... like the last one: wanted it, bought it, hated it.

heniurisaito
heniurisaito

I don't quite agree with Yokuz1166, all I found lacking in mercs 1 was multiplayer, if I could play it on split screen with my friends, it would be the best game ever. Mercs 2 sucked. This one is being done by the same guys from mercs 2, which means either utter failure (80% of chance) or... a nice success, but not a big hit, that's almost impossible. And this game from the video seriously looks awful.

joksterz78
joksterz78

man oh man, EA is running pandemic to the ground! oh well, I guess pandemic will be another statistic. shame.

Yokuz1166
Yokuz1166

Let Mercenaries die. The first one was a gem and the most recent one was terrible. A multiplayer-focused Mercenaries sounds like the worst idea ever. I don't understand what they're thinking. You're taking a busted franchise and turning it into a multiplayer game? You have no base whatsoever. H3, MW2 are all multiplayer-focused games but they have many, many years of solid single-player success. Just develop a new IP and leave Mercenaries alone.

kitty
kitty moderator

I hope that EA doesn't rush them with this title. I enjoyed the first mercenaries, but it feels like the second was released to soon. If it had a later release date I'm sure they could have fixed most of the glitches found in mercs 2. I just hope that the new mercenaries game is back on par with the first.

WTFitsPauL
WTFitsPauL

too bad the last merc game sucked big time. Move Along!

Ridonkeykong
Ridonkeykong

Hopefully you can use the downloaded characters through the whole game and online this time. Sarah Palin :shock:

green_dominator
green_dominator

The original was so much better, It didn't have coop or any multiplayer but it was fun and the characters were all cool, the second game just sucked. It had poor aim, bad graphics, characters looked and sounded bad, vehicles acted funny, enemy AI was horrible.....overall it sucked, I'm skipping this new game......

Blargsman
Blargsman

I'm intrigued. An open world of mercenaries for hire? Hell yes! World in Flames had the potential, but fell pretty flat on its face. It was a decent game, but it was executed poorly... very poorly.

Tremor671
Tremor671

Frankly I thought the second one was good, but it needed more polishing. The best thing for this game and for Pandemic as a whole is to delay the release date until sometime after the end of the world (2012).

Triton
Triton

Great news, lets see what they can do with it.

inkyspot
inkyspot

Bring it hard, because Just Cause 2 ain't playing. That Obama and Palin Dl was funny thougth

havocmerc
havocmerc

if you don't like it, don't buy it. If you do like it then buy it.

terror_ninja
terror_ninja

-_- the first mercenaries was great, the second one was rubbish, and that was because EA got their dirty hands on it now if EA has chucked out more of pandemics staff and have more EA grubby little buggers on it then it will most likely be a huge mess.

nineteen93
nineteen93

Hopefully this time around there will be, Better AI. No bugs and glitches. Better story and characters.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

I hope this reedems the series. The second one was a mess, and cluster ****!

s3v3nSiXXX
s3v3nSiXXX

RedSoxfan67: You're not, pal. I thoroughly enjoyed it too, if for no other reason that I'm a huge fan of the first game too. It truthfully could have been so much worse though.

blancobo
blancobo

I hope a new game redeems the series from the poorly reviewed World in Flames game.

RedSoxfan67
RedSoxfan67

After laying off Pandemic employees, and about a week later, we get an announcement on a new Mercs game. Hopefully this one is better than Mercs 2 which i actually enjoyed. I'm probably the only one commenting who actually somewhat enjoyed mercs 2 lol

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

JonahFalcon
JonahFalcon

"EA botched #2" EA botched #2? Last I saw, Pandemic botched Merc 2.

JBjazzbo
JBjazzbo

I played the demo of Mercs 2, thought it was a really crap but kinda fun. Drive into a tree on a motorbike, really slowly? Tree breaks in half. Drive into a bush? Bush falls apart. Drive full speed at a guy on a motorbike in a truck? Guy on motorbike bounces off, doesn't even fall over.

TWiSTEDmerc
TWiSTEDmerc

There's a lot to be proven before I consider Mercs 3 as a purchase especially since EA botched #2, slayed most of employees, and announced a new game at an all up in arms time.

Kcirdor1227
Kcirdor1227

I still can't get the Million Dollar Trophy from the last one.....

Asheileon
Asheileon

Was going to buy mercs 2, but then I heard so much crap about it. Hope the next will be better and hopefully without that guy on the front, looks like my neighbour.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Hopefully this will be better than Mercs2

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

I loved Mercenaries, and overlooking the storyline and massive glitches, I really enjoyed Mercs 2 (loved the coop). Hopefully, they can give us a game with the best from both worlds. There just aren't many games out there where you and a buddy can cooperatively hijack military grade vehicles, boats, and most importantly for me, helicopters. A few of the things the third installment needs to do are: keep coop story play (I'm satisfied with two players), keep all the good military vehicles and add some more (Apache & Comanche without losing the Cobra would be heaven), improve on the story, and improve replay value by adding some sort of new game+ mode.

Rikuide_Furame
Rikuide_Furame

Meh, I can't say that either of the first two did anything great. It was enjoyable to use the carpet bomb, but there wasn't much else to hold me interest. I need a good plot.