Pandemic Studios Brisbane no more

souri's picture

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Reports have come in confirming that the remaining employees at Pandemic Studios Brisbane have been let go after losing their bid in getting publisher interest for their Wii game called "The Next Big Thing" in the hope of finishing its development.

The open world reality show game was in production for the Wii by the second team at Pandemic Studios Brisbane before owner and publisher Electronic Arts let many staff go and cut loose the studio in early January. The final dozen or so remaining staff at Pandemic Brisbane were notified today that all avenues have been exhausted and were let go.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Not good.

Not good.

Anonymous's picture

Australian games industry

Wow the Australian game dev industry is f*#@ed. Maybe if there was such thing as an Australian PUBLISHER we might not need to be so dependant on America and actually be self sustaining.

Anonymous's picture

Wow. That sucks.

I was really hoping they would pull through.

And I hope the guys will find work elsewhere soon enough.

The ones that are REALLY hurting from this is the new guys trying to break into the field right now. The ones that are losing their jobs now at least have experience and maybe some titles on their CV to help them get a new job. But with studios closing down, there are fewer jobs to go around, and most of them will be taken by the guys who have just been laid off.

So the people who are fresh out of college are somewhat fucked...

Anonymous's picture

Such a shame to see

It's such a shame to see another studio go under.
There really doesn’t appear to be any job security in the australian games dev scene atm. Perhaps that’s why game companies have had such problems attracting and retaining experienced staff?
Once bitten, twice shy as they say. I also hope the guys affected find alternative work soon.

Anonymous's picture

I'm not so sure about that

I'm a foreign worker and I worked for Micro Forté back when they sort of imploded in 2004. But I still couldn't resist coming back to Australia after a few years.

Anonymous's picture

job security isn't an issue

job security isn't an issue just for the local dev scene. It's hit hard in other countriues and across multiple industries...

There's a world outside games dev...

Anonymous's picture

Bad time to graduate

Really shame to see Game companies struggling.

And being one of those recently graduated 3D people, it does not give much hope finding employment with so many experienced people being let go.

Even if I can't get a job I hope most of the overseas employees let go don't go home but keep their expertise here in the Australia.

souri's picture

Talent

Yeh, it was a shame to hear that great Pandemic talents like Adam M. and Kirk G. went back overseas - but have you looked at our exchange rate lately? I know the cost of living is much cheaper here in Australia, but damn, the Aussie dollar has taken quite a beating. Not so good for overseas people working here, but much better for publishers.. too bad they're all tightening their belts at the moment though.

Anonymous's picture

oh RLY????

I'm sorry, but you seem to have your wires crossed, The likes of Adam M. and kirk g. were the ones who were large contributors to the cancellation of the batman game and as we've seen, the closure of the pandemic studio.

They arn't really that talented, they just say the things people want to hear and generally coast through life, taking the lions share of the budget just to sit around to talk about how cool art looks, and generally not do any actual work or contribute in any way.

I'm glad they've left this country and gone back to where ever it is they came from.

Yug's picture

Confirmation?

Can anyone confirm this a little more? I'd be surprised if they all just decided to throw in the towel when they have an original IP game that's already been in development for over a year ... surely a core group might go independant and continue working on the title.

AustralianGamer.com
GamersEvents.com
Vurp.com

Bittman's picture

"Lost their bid"

By the sounds of it, there is no publisher interest for it. If a group went independent they would need to fund themselves, I imagine they only wanted a steady job and that would be the only thing that would keep them continuing.

souri's picture

Not sure

I can confirm that the remaining staff have gone from someone who used to work there. As for the title, who knows, but I'm not sure how far they can pursue the project any further with no one left.

Pandemic Brisbane were an awesome company full of great people and it was an absolute pleasure dealing with those guys over the years.

Anonymous's picture

All of the game IP would

All of the game IP would have been owned by EA, they were the ones who would have put millions into its development, they're not going to just give that away for free. EA allowed the team some extra time to try and find a new publisher to buy it from them. If you're working for a studio that closes down, you can't just walk out with all the code and data as if you own it. Otherwise whats to stop two groups of employees both going independent and both trying to continue its development for release.

Anonymous's picture

I was there...

It's true...game over dude!

Anonymous's picture

i doubt many of the pandemic crew agree with you souri

My friends who worked at pandemic thought that Adam M. and Kirk G. ran batman into the ground. Just because they did nice presentations and were good in the public eye doesn't mean they were any good. From my friends point of view .. good riddance

souri's picture

Sure...

From that Kotaku article on the development problems of Batman Begins, it seems there were many issues that plagued that title, with some of the blame landing on the focus of the art side of things. I can't comment on any of that, since I don't know anything about that stuff.

But from my correspondence with Adam and his contributions in the old forum about normal mapping (some of which he used for his presentation at Game Connect), he seemed a pretty passionate and clued in fellow.

Anonymous's picture

All I've ever seen of this

All I've ever seen of this project, is technology. Sure some great art (graphics), but just raw tech, NO gameplay. Maybe they had a killer game demo along with whatever other problems they had -- I think there was tech issues. But I've never seen any, and pretty graphics alone powered by some good tech, doesn't make a very entertaining game.

Anyway, there was another Batman game in the works, and their screenshots and vids look good and show actual gameplay...

Anonymous's picture

Your friends didn't have a

Your friends didn't have a clue then. Adam and Kirk did a great job on the art side of things, and I think you'll find that *most* of the Pandemic crew would agree there.

Sure there were problems with the development of the game, but no worse than any other game in production. There were issues outside of the control of Pandemic itself that doomed this project, it wasn't just art, or programming, or QA, or admin, or, God forbid, design that broke it. This petty blaming of one group or person solves nothing and benefits no-one. All it does is slander people that were just doing their job.

So please, just shut the fuck up unless you have something positive or at least accurate to add to the discussion.

Anonymous's picture

Nup

I don't know who your 'most' are,or were- most probably in the same circle.
I agree though, they weren't a driving/determining factor , just part of the culture that was.
But superlatives artwise should be limited to people like Francois.

Your talk of problems makes no sense- clearly there were problems enough to can the game, and surely then, it was worse than any other game(game that isn't canned).
Any external issues were surely just the tipping point or exposed the dysfunction.

You're right though, its past , but the idea should be to learn from history and not just consume spin.
You know that won't happen, though, if Bravo's internal culture of silencing dissent('taking it offline'), or higher ups inability to be told is applied externally in the big wide world.

Anonymous's picture

"clearly there were

"clearly there were problems enough to can the game, and surely then, it was worse than any other game(game that isn't canned)."

That would be nice, but it's not the case.

"Any external issues were surely just the tipping point ..."

That's my point (kind of). Without the external issues there wouldn't have been a tipping point. The dysfunction within the development process alone was not significant enough to warrant cancellation on its own.

Anonymous's picture

No surprise

Really, if u had cash would u fund these guys after all the $$$$$ they have burnt in the last several years???? hahahahaha I DONT THINK SO! Only publisher who would let them in a door thought they were pitching a book! hahaha. bye bye and good riddance cause everyone gets what's coming to them. Good luck to those not at fault.

Anonymous's picture

I don't understand the hate...

I really don't understand the hate. People fuck up! It doesn't mean they went out of there way to so so, or are evil. They make the decisions that they think are right at the time with the information they have.

I take that back actually. I do understand the hate... It comes from people who have never been in the position of actually having to take responsibility for something and as such have no clue what goes into making a decision.

It's easy to criticise when you have no responsibility (or have been around 5 minutes and know everything...)

Bittman's picture

Actually

It's easy to comment when you're Anonymous. Not many tell it like it is when they're scared potential employers are looking. (also, was this comment to the one you actually replied to? His spelling was fine unless you count americanizing spelling as correct)

But the point is, overall what it is easy to do is take a shot at a Studio for not succeeding 100% of the time. Funnily enough, don't know anyone who succeeds that often.

Anonymous's picture

yeah, I was referring to the

yeah, I was referring to the post before his, but replying to his post (which still kind of makes sense to me). My spelling comment was aimed at the 'u' instead of 'you' and the basic bad grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, trying to imply that the original poster was probably of limited intellect, thereby invalidating his argument.

I probably should have just typed "u dont no wat u r talkin abot".

Anonymous's picture

Actually, it's "criticise"

Actually, it's "criticise" as we live in Australia and follow the British rule of spelling.

Seppos Can't Spell.

Anonymous's picture

so you had a clue then?

So then, what did you do on the project? if you were an artist being affected by Adam and Kirk's decisions then fine.. if not, then maybe your opinion isn't justified. Maybe their mistakes and negative impact on the team were the feelings of certain individuals.

You sound arrogant, and this kind of attitude is not welcome in game development IMO. There are so many arrogant aussies in game development it is not funny.. all thinking they are hot stuff when in reality they have so much to learn, any of them heard of humility?. If Souri is saying that Adam and Kirk are going to be missed and everyone I talk to from pandemic is saying good riddance, I have to tell people here that not everyone shares that same opinion. Too often you get industry people in Australia who form an opinion about game studios and people without really knowing much. In Souri's case he formed his opinion from the guys presentations on normal maps and not an opinion from working with him.

Anonymous's picture

This. This I think is

This. This I think is something that our local industry needs to consider more carefully if we want to succeed, or even survive.

Most everyone will agree that cronyism and nepotism and ego is a fact of life when breaking INTO the industry, but it seems like it's also enough to keep dead wood there. People who get in through friends, talk a a good talk, but then once they're there others slowly start to realise that they're lazy, not very good at their jobs, or have absolutely no idea what they're talking about but are egotistical enough to continue to push ahead as though they do. Normally this is a point where you'd regretfully let them go, right? But they're a nice guy, and you go for drinks with them on Fridays. And then, because they've been there for so long due to the fact that nobody wants to fire the friend of a GOOD lead, they're eventually promoted up the tree, and the amount of damage they can cause escalates. Everybody who actually works with them knows they're the cause of the problem, but the people in a position to do something about it still think that they're okay and will instead always blame some external factor.

This comment is not necessarily relevant to the misforuntes of Pandemic - I wasn't there, and everything I know is only second hand from friends who are probably too close to the issue to be able to judge it objectively. But I still think this is something the games industry as a whole needs to learn. It's a trapping in creative industries, and even more so in the games industry which likes to promote a buddy culture. Don't get rid of the buddy culture, but also recognise that giving third and fourth chances to your buddies has the potential to seriously damage your company. Then instead of letting one friend go, you might be letting go of thirty. :(

Anonymous's picture

you hit the nail on the head

I totally agree with everything you just said. It is so true. For all you kids in school, read this and take what you want from it because it is the talk of someone who knows the industry and what it is like. I also feel that friendships in this industry are more important than skills. A large part of being successful is having friends in the right places and reducing the amount of enemies. One day that enemy will be the one in a position to hire you when you are out of a job so think about it before you act.

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