Two big-name developers, Pandemic Studios and BioWare have merged, creating one of the largest independent game development houses. The new $300 million company will be known as BioWare/Pandemic Studios. Both companies will retain their separate brands and creative teams, and continue to operate in their respective cities: BioWare in Edmonton, Canada; Pandemic in Los Angeles and Brisbane, Australia. Both studios plan future expansions at these and other locations.

"BioWare and Pandemic are truly among the greats of worldwide game developers. We at Elevation are proud to have been chosen by them to be their partners and to work with them in growing their businesses," said John Riccitiello, a managing director at Elevation Partners and CEO for the new holding company, BioWare/Pandemic Studios.

Greg Zeschuk, joint CEO of BioWare Corp, said that the cash infusion will take pressure off both companies to rush games to market before their time. "Great video games don't roll off the assembly line-they are an art form, as lovingly crafted as a film, musical score, or novel," Zeschuk said. "That means taking the time to nurture top talent, then letting that talent work its magic. Fans are the real winners in this deal, because we will now have the resources and creative discretion to make the right decisions for our products. This is truly a new way of doing business."

Pandemic is best known for titles such as Mercenaries, Destroy All Humans, Full Spectrum Warrior, and the Star Wars Battlefront series. BioWare is well known for its role-playing games like Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Jade Empire.