I think many people saw the Bioware / Pandemic merger, with support from private equity firm Elevation Partners, as a bold move to create a large-scale independent developer.
With this news, it looks more like a fancy move by John Riccitiello, who worked at Electronic Arts, left to co-found Elevation Partners, came back to EA as CEO, and now this.
As usual, it is a bold move that makes sense for EA. I wonder how long it takes them to crush the soul of those two companies.
Update: Greg has some more in-depth analysis.