Electronic Arts Inc. is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work.
The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.
EA bought Pandemic, along with sibling development studio Bioware Corp., in 2007 for a then-record $775 million in cash and stock.
In an internal memo posted on the news blog Kotaku, Nick Earl, senior vice president of the EA Games label, said Pandemic is being closed to "improve our cost structure, ensure quality and build schedule integrity for this studio." EA reported a loss of $391 million last quarter on a 13.5% drop in revenue.