EA amputates Pandemic Brisbane?

Source: A number of reports with vaguely cited sources, including articles on Kotaku and Games on Net, all stating that EA had cut its ties with Pandemic's Brisbane-based studio. What we heard: Late last year, EA announced plans to reduce its headcount by 10 percent, laying off about 1,000...

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Source: A number of reports with vaguely cited sources, including articles on Kotaku and Games on Net, all stating that EA had cut its ties with Pandemic's Brisbane-based studio.

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What we heard: Late last year, EA announced plans to reduce its headcount by 10 percent, laying off about 1,000 employees for an annual savings of $120 million. At the time, EA said that the employees would be gone by March 31, 2009, and that the cuts would encompass the "consolidation or closure of at least nine studio and publishing locations."

One of those closures may be Pandemic Brisbane. Games on Net reported that the studio would be officially closed this Friday. However, Kotaku and Games on Net are saying the developers have essentially been "set free," with EA allowing the team to keep control of the new intellectual property they had been working on, as well as their equipment.

Known for creating the first two Destroy All Humans games, Pandemic Brisbane was widely rumored to have worked on an adaptation of the hit film The Dark Knight that was scrapped after a troubled development cycle. Reports have its current project being a Wii game, with Kotaku describing it is an "open world reality show" called The Next Big Thing.

The official story: "In December, EA announced a cost reduction initiative that will impact facilities and headcount. 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."--An Electronic Arts representative.

Bogus or not bogus?: It's not difficult to infer what's happening from EA's "no comment." This one looks not bogus, and we should find out for sure early next month.

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