Makers of the forthcoming vigilante romp The Saboteur, Pandemic Studios, are shutting down, if you haven't heard. Following the news, an anonymous developer has posted on the NeoGAF forums, an occasional hangout for industry types, giving his thoughts on the decision.
Emotions have run high for many people since the announcement, for gamers, publishers and developers alike. Those familiar with Pandemic's work, for example, have said it's deserved on some level, as mismanagement has been abound at the company for years. The developer in question here, posting under the name Zeenbor, reveals this is indeed the case:
"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."
One member responds later in the thread with, "Sad news dude. Although if I were you I don't know if I'd go around bad mouthing management no matter how true it is. The industry is pretty small and something like this could get back to you." Zeenbor's thoughts? "F*ck it":
"See, that's the problem with humanity. Everyone is looking out for themselves. I say f*ck it. The truth needs to be told.
Philosophy aside, I'd say the circumstances warrant the truth. A lot of misconceptions are going around and EA management is being ragged for something that isn't necessarily their fault."
He notes Pandemic was an expensive studio to maintain, and the last two games, Mercenaries 2 and The Lord of the Rings: Conquest weren't "up to snuff", as the community has attested to.
We wouldn't feel terribly bad either if it wasn't for The Saboteur, a game featuring a "street-tough Irish racing mechanic" out for revenge in Nazi-occupied Europe that looks to be full of flavour and awfully promising. "Zeenbor" says, continuing, it's definitely a shame:
"EA is totally sending Saboteur out to die. And it's a f*cking 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 Mercs 2 and LOTR (who wasn't?) and enjoyed previous Pandemic games, give Saboteur a shot."