Ensemble and Pandemic discuss closures

Written by Joe Martin

March 16, 2010 | 11:25

Tags: #ensemble #gdc #pandemic

Companies: #ea

At Game Developer's Conference this year some former staff from Microsoft's Ensemble and EA's Pandemic Studios took to the stage to discuss why both studios closed last year, according to Shacknews.

"We were simply too expensive," said Ensemble's Paul Bettner, explaining why he thought the studio had to close after such big games as Age of Empires and Halo Wars.

"The reality is that every single game we shipped took twice as long as we said it was going to take, and cost twice as much to make...everyone was a workaholic."

Bettner seemed willing to take a share of the blame himself too, saying that "as an employee, and later as a manager, I didn't take a stand. I just kept hoping for that next high."

"This is a horrible vicious cycle. We burn out all our best people. We destroy these precious artists, we wreck their families and we sacrifice their youth. So they leave, and they take all their experience with them."

Former Pandemic employee Carey Chico cited similar reasons for EA's closure of Pandemic too, saying that the developer had problems hitting milestones and dealing with accountability.

"We got our own money," he explained. "That was probably the beginning of the fall...When you have your own money, what happens is that you have to maintain your own accountability internally, and if you don't have that, you just [mess] everything up."

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