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Riccitiello says location and move towards digital led to Pandemic closure


EA's John Riccitiello has told Kotaku that the closure of Pandemic, along with the dismissal of 200 employees, was the direct result of the company's move towards digital and the Pandemic's "bloody expensive" California location.

Apparently, it costs "two to three times more" to employ people in California as it does in any other region EA has offices - which includes Montreal, the UK, eastern Europe and China.

"For good or for bad, we are taking down headcount in California because it is really expensive," he said. "The shift toward fewer titles and the acceleration towards digital is moving faster [than expected]. In a world that used to be all PC, then used to be all console, now it's neither. It's not a packaged goods business any more.

"We know the consumer likes the Mercenaries intellectual property, the Pandemic property, some of the key designers and their insights. We're hoping they're going to want Saboteur. I think they will. Then we'll probably sequel that too.

"One of the things I talk to with key people at Pandemic, EALA and Visceral - there's good and bad… If you're a capable art director, development director, game designer or producer you can multi-task and have a bigger job than you've ever had before, but you've got to have the skill of managing teams that are physically not in your neighborhood.

"You can get more done than you've ever done before."

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