How can EA close down Pandemic when EA is making more money than Jesus on Madden and The Saboteur is looking to be a AAA title?
The bigger point i wanted to pose, was the big question of "Is the Western gaming model sustainable?"
My answer is, a huge resounding ... No.
EA has turned into the GM of gaming at some point in the last 10 years. EA West, East, Montreal, etc. etc. Not to mention gobbling up studios like Westwood(the last of whom are being fired when C&C4 is released), Maxis and Pandemic. I wondered when it will be that EA will gobble up Valve, but seeing as how Valve is probably doing much better than any given EA studio is right now, or even EA as a whole, not fucking likely(besides, if Valve's involved, the only gobbling being done is going to be done by Gabe Newell).
These extensions of their company is bleeding them dry, particularly during a period of time when their stock value dropped to 1/5th of what it was before October 2008. It lost something like, 40 points. Having to pay for overhead, marketing, support, distribution... EA can sell all the games they want, they can put out all the original, most thoughtful IP out there, but in the end, it's going to be economics that ends them, and probably Madden that's going to keep them afloat.
Ubisoft is similarly extended with offices everywhere short of Narnia and the Moon.
It's not just western development studios doing this. Square Enix also happens to own Taito and Eidos who also owns Crystal Dynamics and IO Interactive. Square Enix's approach to extension isn't going anywhere nearly as fast as EA is though, and that may be better for them in the long run, but who knows if the overall strategy of expansion is good?