Very sad news earlier this week: Pandemic Studios was shut down by EA.
No point moping about although. What’s done is done. I choose to remember the good times not the bad: the friends I made and the colleagues I worked with at Pandemic and the shared experiences we went through. No matter how difficult and stressful they were, these experiences bind us together.
Here is my own personal Pandemic story: having worked for Irrational Games, and then Team Bondi – Pandemic flew me out from Sydney, Australia to work on Mercenaries 2 in Los Angeles. Obviously, this was a very significant event in my life, resulting in me settling in LA, meeting my wife, and eventually being hired by Sony. Along the way there were a lot of ups and downs: Getting acquired by EA, one week having an incredible demo and winning support from management, the next week struggling to get resources for the designers to test in COOP and fighting over stupid things like syncing debris and pausing in multiplayer. It was one hell of a rough ride!
In the last 6 months on Mercs2 – Andrew Goldman, CEO of Pandemic, donated his office to the multiplayer team so that we could all work closely together and make sure Mercs2 shipped with COOP. It’s a story of 8 friends working very closely together (literally!) under tight deadlines. Of persistence and determination in the face of tremendous odds, when many of us – myself included – were not even sure it was even *possible* to network an large open world game like Mercs2. We kept on and in the end, succeeded. Mercs2 became the first open world game to ship with drop-in / drop-out COOP throughout the entire singleplayer campaign.
So here, never before told – is the story of the Mercs2 Multiplayer Room and the men who made it what it was.