How the Dark Knight brought down Pandemic...

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Australian Kotaku have a very enlightening piece on how the attempt to create a game based on The Dark Knight brought Pandemic Brisbane down. While some of the studio (alpha team) survives and works on "The Next Big Thing" on Wii, EA has severed its ties to the studio and they are pretty much on their own. The Bravo Team who worked on an open ended Dark Knight game have been let go.

"Bravo's new project came as a result of Pandemic's negotiations with Time Warner and DC Comics, which in turn lead to a contract with EA to make a Batman game. The only hitch was that EA's rights to the Batman IP were set to expire in 18 months. EA needed the Batman game released within that timeframe. Pandemic felt this meant EA would do anything they could to ensure that timeframe would be met and they could recoup their investment.

Pre-production commenced with the Brisbane team excited by the idea of turning such a revered franchise into the as-yet-untitled game. It seems that it took several months before the team was informed that the Batman game they were making had to be based on the upcoming Dark Knight film. This not only meant they were tied to a very specific vision of Batman - and that several months worth of planning had to be scrapped - but they were now tied to an even tighter deadline: the theatrical release of the movie.

With the Batman game now officially a Dark Knight game, Pandemic decided to make an open world Gotham City despite none of the senior members of the team having experience in making open world games."

Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The decision was then made to use the same engine as Saboteur (WWII stealth action in development at Pandemic LA), which caused technical issues as the engine was not ideally suited for the kind of game Pandemic Brisbane tried to make.

As time ran out for EA's Batman license in December, time was also up for Bravo Team and we will never see what could have been of their take on The Dark Knight.

Read the full account at Kotaku AU.

How the Dark Knight brought down Pandemic...

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