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Bankrupt games publisher, THQ, is currently in the process of selling off its remaining library of games properties and licenses which include some well known titles such as Darksiders, Homeworld, and Red Faction.

Polygon.com have the complete list of the current THQ games up for auction and almost lost in all the games titles available for the fire sale are two notable franchises that were highly celebrated original games created and developed right here in Australia.

The first is Destroy All Humans!, an open world game developed published by THQ but developed by Pandemic Studios in Brisbane for the Xbox and Playstation 2 way back in 2005. A tiny bit of trivia about Destroy All Humans! is that Matthew Harding is listed in the credits, a person much better known for the Where the hell is Matt viral video which featured his amusing dancing jig performed in various places around the world. It was a dance he initially did at the Brisbane games studio in front of fellow workmates.

Destroy All Humans! spawned a sequel called Destroy All Humans! 2: Make War Not Love in 2006. The other titles in the franchise, Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed and Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon were developed at other THQ studios and are up for sale too.

Destroy All Humans! won the 2005 Australian Games Developer Conference (AGDC) Award for Best Console Game, and also the AGDC Award for Best Game Audio. Destroy All Humans! 2 won the Games Developers' Association of Australia (GDAA) Award for Best Game in 2006, and the 2006 GDAA Award for Best Console Game.

The other Australian-developed franchise in the list is de Blob, developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment, a Melbourne studio acquired by THQ in 2004. de Blob dominated the GDAA Awards in 2008, picking up Best audio, Best Graphics, Best Gameplay, Best Console title, and the GDAA Award for best game of 2008. The sequel, de Blob 2, was released in February, 2011, but sadly, THQ closed down the studio just six months later.

de Blob was an interesting risk for THQ. It was a completely original I.P based on a Dutch student project, developed when publishers were increasingly banking on sequels and games based on known franchises. Following the great reception of de Blob on the Wii, THQ CEO, Brian Farrell, called de Blob "a great brand" and "a great brand to build" on when confirming a follow up sequel for all console platforms. There was mention of bringing de Blob plush toys to market and a television series planned for the SYFY channel.

News

The original and incredibly inspiring Where the Hell is Matt video (which has since been removed but can be seen below) caused quite a sensation on youtube ever since it was uploaded way back in 2005. We made a post about it on Sumea since its creator, Matt Harding, was actually a former employee of Pandemic Studios in Brisbane and the amusing dancing jig he does throughout the video was something he routinely did in front of other workmates as he waited impatiently on them before they headed out for their lunch break.

Matt completed a popular AMA on Reddit over the weekend where he divulged some more information about his days at Pandemic Studios Brisbane. In a question by the Reddit user Sauce_Pain, Matt claims a partial credit for the original pitch of Destroy All Humans!, an open world action game which is perhaps the studio's signature and most well known title during its existence between 2000 and 2009. From the Reddit AMA...

Sauce_Pain
Is it true that the Destroy All Humans video game is a result of a completely unserious pitch you made?

BadDancer
Well, I make it out like it was a sarcastic joke, but it was only half-sarcastic. Our project had just gotten canned and all publishers wanted at that point was pitches for Grand Theft Auto knock-offs, so I said "How about a game where you just kill everybody?"
They thought that sounded like a good idea. I didn't, really.

It seems that Matt left Pandemic Brisbane shortly after the pitch as his wikipedia page explains that he "didn't want to spend two years of my life writing a game about killing everyone" and began travelling which led to the production of the first 'Where the hell is Matt' video.

News
Submitted by souri on Wed, 14/09/11 - 12:28 AM Permalink

Sorta similar to how I got introduced to computers. My eldest brother got an Apple IIe, and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. It came with a monitor which showed only a black screen with shades of green text and graphics, a separate disk drive with 5 1/4" floppy disks, and paddles for extra input. It had some awesome pinball game called Night Mission and a few other really simple games.

I spent a whole afternoon typing some code from a magazine for it, and all it did was show some jumbled up graphics and not a game which I was hoping for. I messed up writing the code somewhere but couldn't be bothered fixing it.

I was lucky enough to get my own personal computer in '84, and that was a Commodore 64 with datacasette drive. I felt like the luckiest kid on the planet. Spent a whole bunch of time reading the manuals that came with it which covered a bit of basic and sprites etc. Wrote a simple game, sort of a choose-your-own-adventure thing with ascii graphics. Got bored with that and spent a whole lot more time with Koala pad and drawing pictures, which is why I steered towards the art side of things. Saved up all my coins to get a 1541 disk drive which was like $400 back then - a massive amount just for a darn disk drive and costed as much as the C64. That, however, opened the gates to a world of games, demos and the demoscene, and many failed attempts at future composer and assembly.

Tony Albrecht, founder and Director of Overbyte and veteran programmer with past stints at studios such as Ratbag, Midway, and Pandemic, has written a fantastic entry for AltDevBlogADay detailing his unusual journey into games development.

It seems like an unlikely choice for a lad who grew up in a small country town in South Australia where most aspired to drive trucks or work on the farm for a living, however, when Tony was first introduced to a Apple II computer, he knew right away what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

After studying Computer Science and Physics at 17, then working in the mining and defence simulation sector programming visualisation applications, as well as porting code on the slaughter floor of an abattoir whilst avoiding carcass splatter), it was his father's illness that made Tony re-evaluate what he really wanted to do in life. From altdevblogaday.com...

(Albrecht) Deep down, I knew – I wanted to write games. So I started writing games for myself and entering game writing competitions. I bought one of the first 3DFX cards in Australia and wrote demos for that. I spent every spare moment coding. I loved it. It was exciting. I was learning. I was having fun. I was writing games.

So I quit my job.

Tony's plan was to fly to GDC and show off his work with the hopes of getting hired, but luckily that was the year (1999) for the first ever Australian Game Developer's Conference which was held in Sydney. From networking at that conference and applying for a position closer to home at Adelaide based games studio, Ratbag Games, it marked the beginning of his twelve year long journey in the games industry. It's been one marked with plenty of ups and downs, but he'd have it no other way...

(Albrecht) I now run my own company, and I have the pleasure of travelling the world teaching and working with young, eager programmers (as well as their older, more cynical brethren). I love what I do; I love the people I work with. Yes, I have considered leaving the industry for a more secure, well paid job. But you know what? While I would be working at that job, I’d be thinking about writing games.

It's an excellent write-up, and I hope a lot more local games veterans out there can share their stories like this with us. Head on over to altdevblogaday.com for the whole story!

News
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 17/10/10 - 8:12 PM Permalink

Lol - that first picture... is now Studio Oz.. and I'm pretty sure it's not being demolished. ;)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/10/10 - 3:30 PM Permalink

Lol - yeah that's exactly what the article says! (Read it again.)

Ex-Pandemic Studios Brisbane employees who have fond memories of their old work place may be disheartened to learn that their old studio is in the process of being demolished.

When Pandemic Studios Brisbane outgrew their building on Robertson Street in Fortitude Valley, QLD (which incidently currently houses THQ Studio Australia), they moved to a much larger complex at McLachlan Street. It was here where the local branch of Pandemic lived out its final days before publisher and owner, EA, pulled the plug nearly two years ago. The site has been left vacant for a while, but it looks like EA's long term lease on the location has finally ended.

Matt Ditton, ex-Pandemic developer and exceptionally awesome Freeplay / GCAP speaker and presenter, managed to capture the moment where a bulldozer was in the process of tearing apart his previous workspace. Coincidently, it started at the actual spot where he used to sit for work. From Matt's blog entry...

(Matt) I’ve watched that building stay vacant for the last two years. EA had a 5 year lease and they were happy to keep it empty.

So last Monday was a shock. Shawn, Kieran, Morgan and I just stood there. It was hard to put into words really. We’d all had good and bad times at that job. But the space is gone. There’s a lot of mixed feelings. But I thought the least I could do was post a few photos from the place.

For the pictures that Matt took of the bulldozing as well as some great photos of inside the studio before Pandemic vacated, head on over to his blog at thequietvoid.com

News
Submitted by Lach on Wed, 18/11/09 - 10:03 AM Permalink

That was a quick implosion.

Thanks to the good people for the good times, -

as for the bad people...well....nuthin'

At least Bioware is making money and therefore safe,
but I think the all or nothing strategy isn't a good idea.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/11/09 - 11:20 AM Permalink

Bioware jsut had massive layoffs dude.

'Quality' has nothign to do with it. Sabateur will kick arse.

So sick of the self-rightious negative gits on here.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/11/09 - 9:02 PM Permalink

It doesn't.

I completley misread the post and ended up acting like the people I dispise so much on here.

I apologise unreservedly to Lach, I suppose I was in a very reactionary mood when i read that this morning.

Please delete my comment if you can as it adds nothing and only serves to distract.

Submitted by NathanRunge on Wed, 18/11/09 - 10:02 AM Permalink

While by world standards this is moderately bad news for the industry, having lost quite a good studio, it hits pretty close to home for us Brisbane game developers who, until recently, lived in the glorious (and well employing) shadow of the Brisbane studio. When we lost Panedemic Brisane it was a harsh blow, but this news signifies the end of a lineage. Best of luck to the ex-Pandemic crew in finding new employment and in their future ventures.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 18/11/09 - 10:37 AM Permalink

I wouldn't be surprised if Pandemites are mighty peeved at the moment. The studio was shut down before the game they've been working on (Saboteur) is released / seen any sales yet. Plus, being told that the Pandemic name and all your I.P that you've built up over the years is still going to be continued elsewhere, that's gotta hurt a bit.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 18/11/09 - 10:55 AM Permalink

So, two years ago, Pandemic and Bioware were acquired for a princely sum of $840 million dollars. In a matter of two years, half of that has just gone in a puff of smoke with the closure of Pandemic.

It's interesting to know however that EA CEO, John Riccitello, personally profitted a bit from the acquisition.. of up to $4.9 million.

Electronic Arts Inc CEO Riccitello Buys His Own Company and Closes it Down Two Years Later

What's it with greedy execs? Smells like what happened with Midway and Ratbag. Ex-Ratbag employee, as well as ex-Pandemic, Tony Albrecht noticed that Midway's CEO, David Zucker, nabbed a tidy $8.5 million (US) from that whole debacle.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/11/09 - 11:56 AM Permalink

...an interesting and highly successful strategy on his part that was perhaps writing on the wall as soon as John returned to EA after his acquisition and subsequent sale to EA. But then that's what makes him (ruthless, uncaring or otherwise) a General of industry with significant personal wealth. It's high level business - cold and simple. And people (that's us real peopel) really don't matter. Is it greedy? Absolutely although it depends what they do with that wealth. Even so personally I'm a bit jealous. But would I be able to do what he has done to get what he's got...probably not (or obviously not because I haven't and so I'm poor!).

Submitted by souri on Fri, 20/11/09 - 11:20 AM Permalink

Word seems to be spreading on how John Riccitiello personally gained from all this, with EA shareholders getting the short end of the straw.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96237-Analyst-Chews-Out-EA-CE…

That article links off to an interesting comment from an ex-Pandemic L.A employee

I was one of the affected today.

Having worked at Pandemic for close to 5 years, it's a bittersweet moment. We literally just finished Saboteur and are extremely proud of the game it turned out to be, considering the amount of hardships we had during development. On the other hand, we now have no job and are forced to part our ways with people we hold dear to our hearts.

I can tell you one thing. The reason why the studio closed down has everything to do with the existing Pandemic management. From what we were told, Pandemic management was given free reign to do as they please. Time and time again, they dropped the ball with bad decisions (promoting/keeping people based on loyalty, no production accountability, misallocation of resources, poor milestone objectives, no mentoring, etc.). It's a true shame, as there was a lot of talent and passion at the studio.

I wouldn't necessarily hate on JR and EA's execs just yet. In my eyes, they probably made the right decision as Pandemic cost a lot to upkeep and, quite frankly, the last few products weren't up to snuff. I think many of you would be surprised how much a game like Saboteur costs to make (think ~100 people for 3 years + ~20 people for ~2 years). Add overhead cost to incompetence in management/direction and you have a pretty convincing case to cut your ties and call it a day. It probably doesn't look good for JR considering he made a cool 5 mil off of the sale of Pandemic/Bioware.

One more thing I will say: EA is totally sending Saboteur out to die. And it's a fucking shame. It's easily Pandemic's best game yet. Of course, I am a bit biased having worked on the game for so long. If you were disappointed with Mercs2 and LOTR (who wasn't) and enjoyed previous Pandemic games, give Saboteur a shot.

Gonna pour one out for my homies:

Submitted by jayktaylor on Wed, 18/11/09 - 4:34 PM Permalink

That sucks.

Best wish's to the ex staff of Pandemic.

The writing was on the wall when EA signalled staff cuts from various studios just last week, with "substantial" staff lay-offs from various studios including Pandemic Studios (L.A). The latest report that has been circulating on numerous websites is that all staff from Pandemic Studios L.A (some 200 employees, including the former studio CEO, president, and vice president of product development) have been let go today, with some core developers being relocated to other EA offices, thus finally ending the 11 year reign of the American / Australian game developer.

This news is more likely to hit closer to ex-Pandemic Brisbane staff who have had a close working relationship with their sister L.A studio before their own Brisbane studio closed down earlier in early February, this year. Australia's connection with Pandemic began a decade ago when after completing Dark Reign 2, several Australian developers working on the project in Santa Monica, California became homesick. Rather than lose their exceptional talents, Pandemic established a second studio in Brisbane, Australia, in 2000.

It's been quite a sad turn of events ever since Pandemic's acquisition two years ago, with Pandemic's independence assured as recently as last year.

For more details on Pandemic's closure, head on over to Kotaku...

News
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/07/09 - 10:50 AM Permalink

It does look cool indeed and am guessing that publishers were probably turned off by the $ to make something like this. At the beginning of the Wii life you would have been able to get a decent advance, but not in the past few years where the market is flooded with low rent mini-game styles games and shovel-ware.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/07/09 - 5:52 PM Permalink

Now if only someone would upload some of Pandemic's Batman gameplay footage, and I'm not talking about those city fly-throughs that have already been seen.

Submitted by souri on Fri, 31/07/09 - 4:21 PM Permalink

Considering how fast the character animations were pulled from the portfolio site of the Pandemic employee who was working on it, I would say it would be unlikely we'll see that stuff any time soon...

Maybe give it a few years ;) I'd love to see it too.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 05/08/09 - 3:56 PM Permalink

So, it looks like EA / Pandemic have pulled the video from youTube. It seems pretty odd, considering the talk previously about Pandemic Brisbane being able to keep the I.P and were shopping for publishers to continue developing the game.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/08/09 - 8:40 PM Permalink

I don't know anything about that, aside form what was reported in here, but I assume that since Pandemic Brisbane has gone completley there is no one left to sell it.

AustralianGamer has the trailer for the canned Pandemic Brisbane game, The Next Big Thing. Pandemic Brisbane had two teams working on two equally big titles. One was the Batman movie licensed game which has since been greatly talked about, and the other was the previously unknown Wii title called The Next Big Thing.

Upon Pandemic Brisbane's closure, it was heard around the grapevine that The Next Big Thing was being shopped around to numerous publishers with the hope that this title could be completed, but unfortunately, it looks like those attempts were not fruitful.

An incredible shame, really, as the game looks *fantastic*! It looks Pandemic were upping themselves in the open-world department by exceeding what they've been able to accomplish with Destroy All Humans! 1 and 2. The art style is phenomenal, the animation is exquisite, and the game itself looks incredibly fun as well. Why no other publisher wanted to pick this up is beyond me.

The Next Best Thingby Refurs

News

Tony Albrecht has contributed his story of redundancy to Kotaku in an article which contains a few life changing stories of game developers that have been let go of their job in this time of economic downturn. The ex-Rat Bag and ex-Pandemic senior programmer describes how he was well prepared for it this time round and how he was able to bounce right back up after losing his job at Pandemic...

When I was told this time, I fired off a couple of emails and updated my blog to let people know that I was available. I then spent the day talking to people on MSN, saying goodbye and good luck to friends and fielding emails about work. Unfortunately, since I do work remotely, I didn't have the pleasure of the traditional booze up at the local pub.

Luckily, Backup Plan A has worked. On the day I was made redundant, I received an email and a subsequent phone call setting the wheels in motion for a new job.

Tony considers himself lucky that senior programmers are still in strong demand in Australia, but sympathises with junior staff who will have a much more challenging time in finding new work.

News

I'm a bit late with this one but those crafty guys at Kotaku have been snooping on Pandemic staff and their personal blogs to suss out some Dark Knight media, and it looks like they have scored some success.

Michael Pryor, 3D environment artist at Pandemic Studios Brisbane, had some really great looking screen shots of what we can safely assume are from the Dark Knight game. It probably hasn't helped that Michael has pulled down those shots from his blog, but Kotaku saved some smaller versions of it and hosted it on their site. It looks absolutely outstanding.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/games/2009/01/rumour_is_this_pandemics_dark_kn…

His blog is at: http://michaelpryor.weebly.com

Travis Ramsdale also pulled down two Dark Knight related animations from his personal blog, but that hasn't stopped Kotaku grabbing it on hosting it on their site either as you can check out two animations from the four-year Pandemic animator. Travis described himself as "recently spent two years working on an unreleased next generation, open world title and responsible for animating the core movement set on the games hero character" and seems to have flown to Germany to look for work.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/games/2009/01/want_to_take_a_real_quick_look_a…

Travis's blog is at:

http://travisramsdale.blogspot.com
http://www.travisramsdale.com/index.htm

News
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/02/09 - 6:05 PM Permalink

Not good.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/02/09 - 6:18 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/02/09 - 6:29 PM Permalink

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...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/02/09 - 7:09 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/02/09 - 12:28 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/02/09 - 2:56 PM Permalink

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...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/02/09 - 10:28 AM Permalink

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.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 11/02/09 - 3:08 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 11:20 AM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Yug on Wed, 11/02/09 - 3:44 PM Permalink

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

Submitted by Bittman on Wed, 11/02/09 - 3:56 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 11/02/09 - 4:36 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 12:33 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/02/09 - 5:58 PM Permalink

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

Submitted by souri on Wed, 11/02/09 - 9:26 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/02/09 - 11:30 PM Permalink

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...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 12:46 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 1:33 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 2:06 PM Permalink

"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.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/02/09 - 8:28 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 1:10 PM Permalink

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...)

Submitted by Bittman on Thu, 12/02/09 - 8:40 PM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/09 - 9:39 PM Permalink

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".

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/02/09 - 3:51 AM Permalink

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/02/09 - 12:49 PM Permalink

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. :(

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/02/09 - 3:43 PM Permalink

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.

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.

News
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/02/09 - 5:01 PM Permalink

"all your focus is on building the next big thing."

Nice little play-on-words there.

As we wait for some confirmation on the current state of Pandemic Studios Brisbane, ex-Pandemic programmer, Tony Albrecht has written about how the redundancy has affected him on a personal level. While he was much better prepared for it this time, Tony describes some of the difficulties and life changing realities that a redundancy in the current game industry climate brings.

From his Seven Degrees of Freedom bog..

I really feel for the people that have just managed to break into the industry and have been laid off, especially since the market is flooded with good people that have been made redundant from any number of studios that have been recently shut down by EA. Or THQ. Or Midway. Or pretty much anywhere. It's a very volatile industry now. Forewarned is forearmed - keep your eyes open for delayed milestones, delayed milestone payments, sudden dramatic scope changes in the game, groups of experienced people leaving, anything that should make you nervous. It is surprisingly easy to ignore this stuff, to blindly tell yourself that it'll be OK and it'll all work out fine. I know, I've done it myself.

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