The Empire expands

So, it’s true. According to the Wall Street Journal, EA has added Bioware and Pandemic to its stable of super studios for a whopping $860 million bucks. Although being absorbed by EA has usually resulted in the kiss of identity death (see: Westwood Studios, Maxis), here’s to hoping that the Empire recognizes that these two studios have become successful thanks in a large part to their independence. I’d really hate to see Bioware’s storytelling edited by bean counters or Pandemic’s titles strained through a politically correct refit just to reach those target audiences that EA is trying to woo.

One immediate benefit that I can see to this are the deep pockets and the Tinseltown moxie that EA brings to the table with their habit of using Hollywood script doctors, musicians, and voice actors for many of their key properties, but that hasn’t been something that either studio have really had a problem with. EA’s resources could also come in handy for Bioware’s original fantasy IP, Dragon Age, or the online plans that they’re working on developing. I only hope that EA leaves behind the assembly line mentality that they have been known to subject their past acquisitions to, whether EA will decide to leave their money mitts out of the creative process that the two studios have honed into the properties that they are known for.

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