Rumor: RIP Pandemic Studios, 1998-2009

Pandemic Studios - the developers behind Star Wars: Battlefront and Mercenaries - will today be closed down by owners Electronic Arts, according to several sources close to the situation.

It's not the first time we've heard this - far from it - but we had previously been unaware of the timing of the move.

Though still unconfirmed, according to our sources almost all of the studio's staff (around 200 people) in Los Angeles are to be laid off today, with those few remaining to be incorporated into other Electronic Arts development teams. The move is expected to be announced to Pandemic staff at 11 a.m. PT.

Pandemic were first formed in 1998, and for a while there, seemed to be on the verge of becoming one of the world's premier development houses. Following on from the success of Full Spectrum Warrior, Mercenaries and Star Wars: Battlefront, they were purchased in 2007 by Electronic Arts, where things should have been on the up and up.

Instead, the company released a succession of lacklustre sequels, and took a body-blow when Pandemic's Australian experiment failed following the cancellation of the costly - and doomed - Dark Knight game, which resulted in the closure of Pandemic's Brisbane studio.

It's believed Pandemic's remaining IP (including The Saboteur) will be passed onto EA's Montreal studio (Army of Two).

Remember, as of yet, this is all unconfirmed; we'd expect an official announcement on the closure later today. We've contacted Electronic Arts for an official statement and will update this post when and if they respond.