Bioware and Pandemic to merge

Bioware and Pandemic to merge, creating new ‘super-studio’:

Top North American developers Bioware and Pandemic are set to merge in a $300 million deal crafted by Elevation Partners, the private equity firm headed up by former EA president John Riccitiello.

The deal brings together two of the most successful development studios in North America, with Canadian firm Bioware being responsible for titles ranging from Baldurs Gate and Knights of the Old Republic to Jade Empire, while US studio Pandemic has worked on the likes of Full Spectrum Warrior and Mercenaries.

The new operation will consist of a holding company, creatively called Bioware/Pandemic Studios, with Riccitiello as CEO and the current heads of Bioware (Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka) and Pandemic (Andrew Goldman and Josh Resnick).

Sounds very significant, and somehow reminiscent of the launch of Greg Costikyan’s Manifesto Games (which I’ve shamefully neglected to mention here so far): two radically different solutions for more or less the same problem. Alternative financing rules.