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EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-goodnight-folks dept.
lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."
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EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs

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  • Hopefully, the 25 will re-consider this idea and grab a number of the others to be laid off and approach another VC to start a new company. Heck, if smart, try to create 2 new companies out of it.
    • by nametaken (610866)

      I can't imagine there's a ton of VC floating around right now, and even less so for folks coming out of an unsuccessful (as of late) studio.

      Not to say that has anything to do with the developers, mind you.

      • by slarrg (931336)
        I guess they would find plenty of funding if they go to China and create a game where you, as a loyal communist, go forth to improve the lives of your fellow citizens.
      • by Bakkster (1529253)

        There is VC to be had, but not for video game developers. Most of it is going to web startups, places with lower cost to fund (2-5 guys salary, rather than 25+) and the potential to make a massive return (valuations in the 10s or 100s or millions of dollars). Indie gaming just isn't as safe of an investment or have the potential of such high returns.

  • EA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Friday November 20, 2009 @01:12AM (#30168302) Journal

    EA destroys and corrupts whatever it touches. A developer being bought by EA is the kiss of death for all their franchises, IMO. The classic example is Westwood Studios and a series that was very dear to me, Command & Conquer.

    At least we'll always have new versions of Madden!

    • by eclectro (227083)

      EA destroys and corrupts whatever it touches. A developer being bought by EA is the kiss of death

      But I thought that they bring out the whips and chains first??

    • by CRC'99 (96526)

      I agree. The C&C series are what made me love RTS type games. C&C, Red Alert etc and the classics of a game studio who just do it right. Sadly, that was killed by EA and nobody has really stepped up to fill the gap :(

      • Re:EA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Oewyn (1526739) on Friday November 20, 2009 @02:08AM (#30168614)
        While i've been a fan of RTSs since the days of the brotherhood of nod, it does seem to be much more difficult to find good ones these days.

        In particular co-op RTSs seem to be non-existent and most that do support it seem like it was added at the last moment on a whim. If you're interested in a game that has more focus on the S part of RTS, and excellent co-op opportunities, i recommend AI War: Fleet Command [arcengames.com]. It's an indy game written by a developer who actually cares about it's playerbase(No i'm not that developer, but I do play the game), and makes free DLC available almost every week with bug fixes, gameplay improvements, new units, etc. The gameplay is very asymmetrical. The enemy has already taken over the galaxy and is now distracted with other pursuits. The more planets you capture and the more structures you destroy the more annoyed the enemy becomes, sending larger and more powerful fleets against you. You can't go recklessly taking over every planet you encounter because the enemy would soon be mighty pissed and send everything it has against you.

        It's not for everyone, however you should at least check it out if you're finding the RTS platform has been lacking as of late.
      • Re:EA (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Nossie (753694) <IanHarvieNO@SPAM4Development.Net> on Friday November 20, 2009 @09:37AM (#30170266)

        One word:

        BULLFROG.

    • Re:EA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Geekner (1080577) on Friday November 20, 2009 @01:35AM (#30168442)
      This shouldn't come as a suprise, look at Pandemic's release history [wikipedia.org]. While there are a few good games here, most of them are quite average to mediocre. They seem to release little other than sequels and middle-of-the-genre titles. I doubt their sales records were spectacular. Thus, when EA started to hurt, they went to cut the least profitable studio.

      I wonder what will happen to their next game, The Saboteur, which is due out in 3 weeks. It is worth noting that they have no other projects announced recently, perhaps this was long on the horizon.
    • And I can't tell you how hard I'm hoping Bioware is the exception to this trend.

      Besides, the TFA (second link) clearly points the finger at Pandemic's internal management, rather than EA.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        I do. I'm hoping they could "reform" and be out from EA's thumb. Great company, and being bought up by EA was the worst thing that could happen.

        Unfortunately if this happens, they loose much of the IP I would really consider to be theirs in the first place.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Except that the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights IP is tied to the D&D license - from Hasbro.

          Knights of the Old Republic? LucasArts and Hasbro.

          They'd lose Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Jade Empire - and bunch of technology, naturally.

      • Re:EA (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Psychochild (64124) <{psychochild} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:59AM (#30169618) Homepage

        What's interesting is that Bioware merged with Pandemic before being bought by EA. Seemed odd that an RPG developer would get together with an FPS developer like that. Also seems strange that if Pandemic was so poorly managed as indicated in other comments that an amazingly well-run company like Bioware would merge with it. Another oddity here is that Riticello, the current CEO of EA, was one of the people who orchestrated with Bioware/Pandemic merger before EA acquired them and he became CEO.

        Given all these facts the closure of Pandemic could be a deep betrayal or someone getting their freedom after a big payout. Ah, the world of game business.

        At any rate, I keep reminding people that Bioware is now owned by EA. Other studios manage to put out a few good games before they're killed off by EA, too. So, keep hoping the streak lasts.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by numbski (515011)

          I have long boycotted EA - anything they make I won't buy, period. They mistreat their workforce, they use business practices that are borderline illegal to illegal (not paying aged football players for their rights and going around them), to just plain evil - like buying the exclusive rights to just about every kind of american football, and to the ESPN name just so they wouldn't have to compete with Visual Concepts/TakeTwo on Madden, after a sound trouncing from NFL2K5, then having the gall to have a sha

    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      Yup...I miss the old Westwood so much. Command & Conquer was such a great series before EA got their hands on it. I was actually recently playing over the original again after downloading it from an abandonware site*, and it's still far better than most of the recent ones. Generals isn't bad, though the whole 'generals abilities' thing and unlimited cashflow buildings take a lot out of the game. But C&C3 and RA3 are both complete garbage. Such a huge loss...

      I still remember playing on...what the hel

      • I keep hearing "RA3 and TW are so horrible!" but nobody ever states a good reason. Is it because they're so polished? Having "big name" actors in the cutscenes? What is it?

        I've been playing C&C games since Tiberian Sun, and I like Tiberium Wars and Red Alert 3 better than the previous games. Plus, come on, Tim Curry! TIM CURRY!

        • by Urza9814 (883915)

          The balance for one. They're too easy. I beat TW in under a week. Yet I've played the original countless times and I still don't think I've ever actually beaten it without taking advantage of game bugs ('sandbag trick' anyone?). It's actually a _challenge_. TW and RA3 are just a grind. Sure, the missions had a bit more depth to them - a few more objectives and larger enemy bases, but in the end it all boiled down to building a shitload of one unit and storming the enemy with it. What fun is that? That shit

          • by mikael_j (106439)

            Interestingly one of my pet peeves with the original C&C as well as most RTS games is that they are way too easy for about 80% of the game and painfully hard for the remaining 20%, nothing like getting stuck halfway through a game because you just can't get past some ridiculously hard level (bonus points if it's one of those C&C trademark "fuck this strategy shit, let's just give the player two engineers and a commando" levels that are basically squad tactics and involve no large-scale strategy what

            • You may try the original shogun:tw on very hard, which is impossible 120% of the time due to the huge cheating of computer players

              Joke aside, I've yet to find strategy games that are actually balanced and fun. Total Annihilation came close, and is one of my all ever favorites. Still I'd like some strategy game which is based on what a war could actually be.

              Most of the mission on every RST out there could be lose by the player in the first two seconds if the AI was truly playing a competitive game. I mean, i
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Rogerborg (306625)
                Try Warzone 2100 [wz2100.net], free as in beer and speech. Massively configurable units, a tech tree that's bigger than the NSA's, artillery based combat, and if you don't like it, you've got the source and can pimp it up.
                • yes I've played. It seems to me that it boils down to building the most powerful units in the largest quantity. not that I didn't enjoyed it. I liked how it got around the problem of having a small base within the enemy territory, without resorting to a dumb defense only AI.

                  I think that the problem may be that most rts focus on the battle phase of war, which coincidentally is also the less meaningful. as they say it's the planning that win the war, not the actual skirmishes, while europa universalis ditch i
                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by Rogerborg (306625)

                    It seems to me that it boils down to building the most powerful units in the largest quantity.

                    That's a bit trite. Given the vast tech tree and weapon-vs-target modifiers in Warzone 2100, "most powerful" is largely subjective. What's more "powerful", super-heavy tracked bodies with heavy cannons, packs of light-bodied VTOLS with tank-killer missiles, or swarms of cyborgs with lasers? And how about the decision whether to build mobile units, or to go hog wild on building long ranged fixed artillery and the

                    • I'll try another round, using less units with more variety. Probably my preference for huge heavy strike was because it worked and it required less micromanagement linking radar and artillery to a commander and flattening each inch with barrages than actually using aircraft to overcome walls and turrets and such.
                • and even better even the players of the PC version freely admit that the PSone port (simultaenous release on both platforms believe it or not) is the exact same game, running at lower resolution. It's 3D so it runs better on the PSone than the C&C ports do and you can have your units behave intelligently, like returning for repair when they get heavily damaged. It also supports the PSone mouse with UI changes if you plug it in. The briefing lady's voice is VERY familiar to SOCOM players.

              • by zero0ne (1309517)

                If you liked TA, give Supreme Commander a try... some really innovative game play mechanics were introduced.
                (SupCom was created by the same guy(s) that created TA)

                SupCom 2 is supposedly coming out soon, and as a bonus will be able to run on a 360. (meaning that a dual core should easily be able to churn out a good 2000+ unit battle)

        • I've been playing C&C games since Tiberian Sun, and I like Tiberium Wars and Red Alert 3 better than the previous games.

          You're not going back far enough.

          As someone who has played C&C since the original, Tiberian Sun was the worst of the first four games (C&C 1 and 2, RA 1 and 2), so it's not surprising that you might think the new games are better. But you'd be wrong... the other three games are terrific. The feel of C&C1 and RA1 have never been surpassed. I still play RA2, which is also great fun.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Westwood and Origin both hung themselves with the rope that EA gave them. Pandemic did the same, as the second link in this story makes clear. All this shows is that when you give people a bigger budget, the problems don't go away, they get bigger too. It has nothing to do with EA buying the studio; having EA around to bankroll the studio just makes the death spiral that much more spectacular.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Yep. In recent times also Mercenairies 2 was one of the best coop games I've ever played, if not the best, the free world with so many vehicles and toys to play with just opened so many doors to play around- just doing fun stuff like sticking the cruise missile target beacon onto the side of your friends helicopter and watch him fly around with a cruise missile chasing him was pretty funny. Attacking the enemy base by stealing a large enemy helicopter then slowly dismantling their base by airlifting all the

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)

      I think the worst example is Origin, instantly after EA bought Origin things went down the gutters, I will never forgive EA for killing Ultima the game series which is the grandfather of all western rpgs.
      Without Ultima 7 there neither would be any Gothic or anything from Bethestha.

      • by Nossie (753694)

        Westwood
        Mythic
        Bullfrog
        Origin ...

        anymore?

        • Maxis to some degree...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Nossie (753694)

            so true....

            I was almost thinking Sims 3 might bring them back into quality...

            Then I found out about them releasing a half finished empty game that micro transactioned you into the ground...

            First sims game I actually bought - and it will be the last.

            Spore was a great idea - that EA management managed to butcher because their 'user groups' felt were too intelligent for the masses.

            Simcity Societies ... what? !

            I realised then, whatever was left of maxis was gone.

            I dont really think the problem is that hard to f

            • Problem is as long as millions buy the same sports game year after year EA wont be gone for good...
              People have voted with their wallet and that is they shove EA for the same game over and over again millions into their throat every year.

    • Another good example is Bullfrog. After being “aquired”, every single one quit its job, and they founded a new company. Then when that company got bought by EA too, again 60% quit on the spot.
      That says something about how much EA is ‘loved’.

      I know two ex-EA developers. They both are basically alcoholics now, because of it.

      If you are there, you are basically a slave code monkey. Their whole process of game development is from its innermost core designed to kill off all creative life.

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      If the people selling it had given a damn they'd have had a poison pill provision to protect their people. Since EA is a known evil the sellouts are wholly to blame.

  • by Haxamanish (1564673) on Friday November 20, 2009 @01:22AM (#30168370)
    ... are "a core intellectual property team". [wikipedia.org]
  • I guess EA found its own way to take care of the current pandemic, without having to wait in line for
  • perhaps they thought they were doing public service.
    • What was Pandemic's first game anyway? Battlezone 2? A disappointment like that was a clear indicator of the sort of garbage that studio would put out.

      Unfortunately, it seemed like they may have actually been getting better as they made more games.
  • by PaladinAlpha (645879) on Friday November 20, 2009 @01:40AM (#30168468)

    This makes sense. EA is strapped for cash. It's not like they just designed, developed, leased, furnished, and staffed a couple of storefronts on prime real estate to advertise one game to a limited audience [kotaku.com].

    Companies don't know how to manage money anymore. Long term gains (like a productive group with experience working together) are traded for short term gains (advertising gimmicks) so often that nowadays it's just the expected mode of operation.

    I don't know too much about Pandemic Studios in particular, but I've been hearing about a LOT of layoffs at EA, and at the same time it's almost like they are throwing money away on brand placement. No company ever thinks to improve their bottom line by steadily generating quality product anymore. The money that goes into solid development is always the dregs of money first given to analysts and marketers.

    I'm normally not a foaming-at-the-mouth anti-establishment labor-theory humanist, but things like this (especially with the oft-cited 'global economy') really and truly make me sick.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 20, 2009 @01:46AM (#30168500) Journal
      To be fair, there is very little evidence that EA could, in fact, improve their bottom line by steadily generating quality product. Since they've never managed to steadily generate quality product, we'll never know.
      • by Verunks (1000826)

        To be fair, there is very little evidence that EA could, in fact, improve their bottom line by steadily generating quality product. Since they've never managed to steadily generate quality product, we'll never know.

        actually EA changed quite a lot in the past few years, take a look at need for speed for example, they were making the same shit every year, this year they changed the developer team and they probably made the best racing game ever, second only to gran turismo. They also produced other great games made by DICE(mirror's edge, battlefield) or BioWare(mass effect, dragon age)

        now take a look at activision, they fucked up pc players with no dedicated servers, if that wasn't enough they asked steam to ban/rev

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Vr6dub (813447)

          Shift was a crap game. They released it half-finished, car selection sucks, engine and car tuning is SOOOOO generic, suspension tuning is all bugged out, opposite-lock not required (all cars seem to magically neutral-drift through all corners). I could go on and on. To even suggest that Shift be put anywhere near Gran Turismo or Forza is laughable.

          I will admit I really like the direction they took the series and the game sounded GREAT but I think we'll have to wait for Shift 2 or 3 before they've found t

    • by Elfboy (144703)

      No company ever thinks to improve their bottom line by steadily generating quality product anymore. The money that goes into solid development is always the dregs of money first given to analysts and marketers.

      I'm normally not a foaming-at-the-mouth anti-establishment labor-theory humanist, but things like this (especially with the oft-cited 'global economy') really and truly make me sick.

      Blizzard... but they are the major exception to the rule (the Pixar of games?)

      Other than that I agree completely about the 'global economy' bs. Not every job is 'cog' job despite management's wet dream fantasies to make it so....

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by stonewallred (1465497)
        Bliz who routinely pisses off their fan base with lengthy downloads, server outages, changes to items and abilities and the new horrible idea of merging their WoW accounts into the battlenet system. To be perfectly honest, I am speaking as a person who was kicked from the server at 11:18pm 11-19-09 while doing the AB BG, and when attempted to log on, was informed my password no longer works. Checked my email and see a note saying here is notification your password has been changed, and instead of having a l
        • by Elfboy (144703)

          Blizzard is more than the WoW MMOG crack market that is their most recent creation... Starcraft, Diablo, Warcraft etc...

          • Blizzard is more than the WoW MMOG crack market that is their most recent creation... Starcraft, Diablo, Warcraft etc...

            True enough, but those other franchises haven't had games released in years. I'm looking forward to that changing. Oh Diablo III, you can't get released soon enough.

        • Who ever scored this troll, fuck your momma with a 12" nigger dick, after you suck the shit from it because it fucked you dad's asshole first.
      • They and Bioware only have their freedom as long as every game sells well, as soon as they produce even one stinker, they are screwed.
        Happened in the past as well, in case of Origin it was even worse, EA started to talk itself into the decisions even before the first game under their umbrella was released, they did not stand a chance in the first place.
        Blizzard is in the same position at Activision as Bioware is in EA, as long as they meet the expectations they have a more or less free reign (although I sti

    • by wynterwynd (265580) on Friday November 20, 2009 @03:03AM (#30168812)

      I don't disagree with your stance on EA, but I don't think that EA spending this money on the storefronts in the article is really a big waste.

      It's a marketing test bed, basically. Some junior executive somewhere "synergized" the apple store concept and made a couple stores to test out EA Active on their target market, namely moms whose kids have Wiis (I have no doubt these stores were in malls), and to get some feedback on the product. The market for that is gigantic and right now there's only Wii Fit and a handful of others to tap into it.

      I don't think a 6 months worth of rent and cheap labor at two locations is more expensive than a large focus study to improve your product or a massive blanket ad campaign that your market won't identify with, each costing millions. Plus their results will be more real and targeted.

      And I think 6 months is a good estimate; they won't be around long, I'm sure. Note the decor from the pic in the Kotaku article. Note the lack of permanent fixtures. Stylishly minimalist, yes. Moves out easily, too.

      EA has to keep trying things like this. It is a giant lumbering beast, borne of an economic boom and grown under those times of plenty. It consumed its kin and grew more massive still, and now it is a large, unwieldy thing and times are getting slim. It must feed on new cash crops, or limbs begin to wither and fall away. So you'll likely see more gimmick attempts to make a signature brand or one-up breakout successes, any attempt to sustain the creature. I don't think they'll succeed. EA doesn't make games anymore, they just buy people who do.

    • Is this model sustainable? With the number of expansions, absorbed companies and conquest, it looks like EA is turning into the GM of gaming. they may be healthy now but what about in a year? 5 years? 10 years? It's like cutting off your pinky to lose weight. It's gone, and never coming back.

    • by sqwishy (927732)

      This makes sense. EA is strapped for cash.

      Also, a Spore movie [kotaku.com]. And I think they're making one for Dead Space and maybe The Sims.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Don't forget they are also firing the ENTIRE current C&C team [kotaku.com] so they can bring in some guy who is gonna "transform Command and Conquer with a new digital model that is going to re-ignite the fan base for this franchise."

        Damn, does this company LOVE the buzzword bingo or what? WTF is a "new digital model"? I'm shocked someone didn't throw synergy in there while they were at it. They are also bringing in somebody to "reinvent" the MOH series, so expect that to suck some major balls as well. Its sad that

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Game publishers spend huge amounts on marketing. Opening a couple of storefronts for a couple of months doesn't even make a dent in their budget. The total cost of this stunt would have covered the salary of one or two programmers for a year, tops.

      Which is not to say that this was a good marketing ploy. Indeed, it strikes me as pretty dumb. But it's hardly proof that EA is rolling in cash.

  • Sell me the Origin Systems IPs. I'll pay top dollar for them so you can keep your current employees employed.

    I'll then bankroll a proper Wing Commander game since you people don't seem interested in doing it.
    • Re:Damn it, EA... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Renraku (518261) on Friday November 20, 2009 @02:13AM (#30168634) Homepage

      EA really is the touch of death.

      They suck up a company and intellectual property, they cut the budgets, take over management of the game, and demand a copy be on the shelves six months from three months ago, whether it's ready to go or not. They'll release an alpha build if that's what it takes, then they'll take it out of the ass of the company they bought when the game fails. They never take responsibility for their actions.

      I pray EA never comes out with a Wing Commander game. The Command and Conquer days have long since been over, the dream has been killed off. I don't want that to happen to Wing Commander. From my experiences with the SNES Wing Commanders and the Privateer games, I hold those sacred in my heart. EA doesn't need to fuck those up, either, but neither will they sell the IP in fears that it might conflict with Madden games.

      • The galling part is that EA will rush to a fire sale and gobble up any IP they can get their hands on and then go out and produce 5 or 6 new series that are similar to the IPs that they just threw hundreds of thousands at. Its like someone there confused patent with trademark.

        • The bad thing is, all the yearly sports titles keep EA afloat without them they would have folded a long time ago, but there are literally millions out there in the world who will buy the same game every year on and on just for the updated statistics.
          Thanks to those idiots we have to live with EA and thanks to the idiots buying the next incarnation of guitar hero every year, Activision, once a very good publisher pulls the same stunt as EA.
          EA tried to break out of that cycle recently, because they know, the

      • Wing Commander 4 and Ultima 8 already were developed fully under EA influence, so go figure...
        Wing Commander 4 sucked, Ultima 8 while not bad per se was branded as Super Mario Avatar!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Edgewize (262271)

        Citation Needed.

        Please provide one example of where EA released an alpha build. Or one example of where EA purchased a game already in development and then immediately diverted funds.

        As much as you would like EA to be the big bad wolf knocking over studios left and right, the facts are that almost every studio that has gone down in flames under EA's ownership has done so due to its own people dropping the ball.

        If you read any of the ex-Pandemic posts you will see that it was local mismanagement which led t

    • Huh. I was expecting an Ultima whine.

  • I've lost count of how many studios EA has chewed up and spit out.
    This isn't news, it's just more of the same.

    • Next ones Bioware... they already are bought, I am just waiting for the first game they did not earn their exepectations, that will be the time EAs screw everything up management will take over and after that we probably will see a Baldurs Gate shooter or Dragon Age Football on a yearly basis and after a while it will be shut down.

      • by LBt1st (709520)

        What's worse is it'll be EA's management that causes them to release something half baked and soulless.

  • I assume one of the bad management decisions was seemingly spending all their money on Gamasutra job postings? When I was looking around for a new job a couple of years ago it seemed like every other posting was for a position at Pandemic.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    EA's management is the demise of that company. They pull all their developers from games once they are done and leave noone to fix bugs. They very rarely release patches for anything. There are many online games that have had game impacting issues for years that just drive people away. If they were smart they would get on the model of releasing paid items into some of their games to pull in extra revenue. Or releasing more MAP packs for some of their better games that they just mothball. I hope the whole co

  • by xswl0931 (562013) on Friday November 20, 2009 @03:50AM (#30168880)

    The interesting part of this is that the CEO had EA purchase his old company for a high amount of $$$ and only two years later shut it down while he personally pocketed several million.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96237-Analyst-Chews-Out-EA-CEO-Over-Pandemic-Closure [escapistmagazine.com]

    • Bioware also was in his assets, and he sold it off to EA while pocketing the money...
      Not sure if this is not insider trading.

  • From an ex-Pandemite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:30AM (#30168984)

    I'm an ex-Pandemite.
    For me, the turning point was around 2006, with the new hardware generation. There were lots of really passionate people here, but the development and design methodologies that worked well in the previous gen simply did not scale up with the larger projects, and things got confusing and out of hand. This was compounded by each internal team having their own unique technology and tools. The amount of redundancy, knowledge lost and effort wasted between projects was quite substantial, not to mention a somewhat lack of ownership or accountability. I was hoping that Sab would be the turning point, but it looks like it is not to be (good news is that last I heard, all SKUs are golden). I hope that many will be able to enjoy it.
    What really irks me is that this was a really passionate and talented bunch with so much potential. Definitely the best group I've had the honor to be with, and possibly ever will be.
    Cheers to the 16, 18, and 19.

    • by Targon (17348)

      Bad management is the cause of so many corporate failures, it amazes me that those with a business degree are not flagged by GOOD company founders to be automatically denied employment. I am serious here, we saw this back in the late 1990s when you had a ton of non-technical people being placed as vice presidents of technical companies, and look at how many of them have crashed since then. Even the whole .com meltdown was caused by too many technical companies being founded by non-technical people with

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Your story is very familiar. Almost every day, a big company buys a little company thinking that a successful small business can become a blockbuster big business with a little infusion of capital and other resources. Some companies know how to pull this off, but it usually seems to fail, both because of the scaling issues you describe and because of the clash of management cultures between the two entities.

      I used to work at Sun, and that company made one disastrous acquisition after another. The last one w

  • ...the games get considerably worse.
  • In one of the G4 TV series code monkeys episodes, one of the game developers, BolecoVision, has its managers using whips and axes to flay and behead its workers who aren't up to par/can't take the stress anymore. This reminds me of EA for some strange reason.

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