EA Makes Mercs Inc, A New "Pandemic" Game, Official [UPDATE]

Less than a day after the game's existence was leaked, EA confirmed that a new Mercenaries is in development. The publisher announced the title as the next release from Pandemic, the studio that was all but shut down last week.

The new game is in development at EALA, the studio where a core group of Pandemic team members were relocated following last week's closure of Pandemic's offices and departure of its top executives.

EA offered no gameplay detals, release date or platforms for the new game.

The existence of Mercs Inc — which EA refers to as a "working title" — first surfaced yesterday on website Bitmob, which ran a video of the in-development game and referred to the game as a multiplayer project.

The video showed classic shoot-em-up-for-cash Mercenaries paramilitary action, though it did not display much of the environmental destruction that was the original trademark of the series.

"We are very excited to announce a new instalment [sic] in the popular Mercenaries series because it demonstrates our continued commitment to Pandemic's rich catalogue of intellectual properties," EA group general manager Nick Earl said in a statement. Last week, Earl had the less pleasant duty of announcing the fate of Pandemic to EA employees.

Earl noted that a "core creative team is forging new ground and conceptualizing new ideas for this exciting franchise."

The first Mercenaries was released in 2005, developed by Pandemic and published by LucasArts. A sequel, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, was released last year, again developed by Pandemic but published by new studio owners EA.

[UPDATE: EA declined to provide any more details about when the game is coming out our what it will be about. As for whether the company announced Mercs Inc today as a reaction to the leaked video of the game that surfaced online yesterday and started the rumor of its existence, an EA spokesperson said, "We don't comment on rumors." The company has not responded to a follow-up regarding whether anyone who worked at the Pandemic offices as of last week is currently involved in the new project.]