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Rumor: Rockstar Won't Work With Team Bondi Again

L.A. Noire is a fantastic game. By all rights, it should've sparked a beautiful relationship between Team Bondi and Rockstar.

But after various unpleasant accusations have come to light, it appears the publisher has decided to disassociate themselves from the growing mess. The IGDA is currently investigating so-called "brutal working conditions," and more e-mails from Team Bondi employees to GamesIndustry.biz has added extra fuel to the fire. An "unnamed source" has said Rockstar has no intention of working with the developer again:

"I've heard a lot about Rockstar's disdain for Team Bondi, and it has been made quite clear that they will not publish Team Bondi's next game. Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like 'Rockstar Sydney'…the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea."

Current and former Team Bondi employees have come out with a number of accusations against management, specifically citing studio boss Brendan McNamara as a flat-out slave-driver. It's very unfortunate given the success of L.A. Noire but perhaps those seven years of development just pushed things over the top...way over the top, according to some complaints.

So if Team Bondi does make a new game, it appears they'll have to find a different publisher.

Tags: team bondi, rockstar, la noire, l.a. noire

7/6/2011 10:15:31 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (28 posts)

BTNwarrior
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:34:17 AM
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I'm sure activision will pick them up

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mackid1993
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:47:37 PM

Just what I was thinking lol. Hopefully EA or Ubisoft will work with them. The last thing we need is a new LA Noire every year.

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MartyRules
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:26:48 PM

@ MAc Um, assassins creed hello

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:38:03 PM

no activision

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Fane1024
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 7:53:04 AM

@ Marty

see also: Prince Of Persia and Splinter Cell during the PS2 generation

I love Ubi's AAA games, but they will oversaturate.

p.s. apologies if this double-posts

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:34:46 AM
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Wow, that's a bomb.
But my respect for Rockstar got increased by *several* levels right now!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 10:35:09 AM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:36:10 PM

Um, why? R* was the one pushing these guys to work an estimate 100 hours a week with only getting paid for 40 (supposedly), and pushing the team bondi members to work at an insane pace.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:45:34 PM

That's not how I understand it, Wolfeh.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:35:50 AM
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Talk about going from best case scenario to worse case one in a hurry. It's bad enough to have those accusations flying around, but to then have your publisher ditch you? Ouch.

Team Bondi and Rockstar have a hit in LA Noire, and instead of celebrating this, it's as if a divorce is happening.

If anything, I just hope the facial technology makes it's way into other games.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:38:45 AM
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Its a shame, really. I only just started LA Noire but its easy to tell right away what a talented bunch they are over at Team Bondi. Its too bad that they apparently have had been mistreated by management. Hopefully they will use this as learning to change their management style.

BTW, wasn't Sony originally going to publish L.A. Noire? Anyone know why they dropped it?

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:24:07 PM

After about three years and over twenty million dollars invested, it was a complete mess. After R* stepped in, Team Bondi management wanted to keep going in the direction that they had been, and R* had to turn all that around and get the game cohesive, overruling even McNamara in certain respects.

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:48:50 AM
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I'm actually inclined to believe that most, if not all, of the accusations are true. For one thing they explain why the game took so long to release. But they also explain why the game was originally a PS3 exclusive but subsequently went multi-platform. Apparently Sony dropped the project by choice upon realizing that McNamara was bad news. Washing their hands of him was probably a wise choice on Sony's part, and now Rockstar is essentially making the same choice.

And the future does seem to be looking rather bleak for Team Bondi unless McNamara leaves. It's probably safe to say that finding a new publisher might be a bit of a challenge because there's probably a good chance that McNamara is going to become something of a pariah in the industry.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:00:58 AM

Yeah, McNamara is clearly the main enemy focused on in these emails and articles. He kept changing things in the game, kept changing emplaoyees, treated them like slaves whose lives were eneveloped by the development of LA Noire and nothing else.

I hope McNamara is removed and someone kinder and with more driven direction can take over.

Nothing messes up a game more than no clear direction as to what the game wants to be. Rockstar gave Team Bondi some direction which lead to the game being completed. Had McNamara tried to do it all on his own, it would've been a big mess with millions lost on rookie developers working 18 hour days.

Geez, this guy sounds worse than the head of Activision. At least Bobby Kotick has goals. (Recycle something popular with minor improvements until it is dead)

Last edited by Dancemachine55 on 7/6/2011 11:03:10 AM

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:53:36 AM
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As an Aussie gamer, I had high hopes for Team Bondi, and hoped that LA Noire would pave the way for a golden road in game development for young Aussie programmers and developers.

Such a shame. No doubt this will be a big blow to our tiny industry. At least we still have Fruit Ninja!!!

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JMO_INDY
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:12:01 AM

Oh how many hours I've killed in Study Hall because of Fruit Ninja. Good times, and I'd say a good expenditure of my time haha.

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JMO_INDY
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:15:22 PM

Sorry I'm not playing high Quality games like Uncharted in Study Hall WHA WHA WHA!!!

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:18:51 AM
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Just like marriage.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:40:07 AM
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Didn't I say that the developing of this game was full of issues?, no wonder why Sony ditched them before R* tried to work with them, the release of LA Noire actually was surprising to me, at least it's a great game.

Also is funny how some La Noire fanboys hated on David Cage because they thought he was some douche, wonder why they gonna do when they know how much of a big douche Mcnamara is.

Last edited by Oxvial on 7/6/2011 11:46:00 AM

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:28:00 PM
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As much I'd say this is due to it being a NSW team (last night's Origin springs to mind), it's because McNamara is a bloody idiot. He sought a totalitarian regime down there, trying to reign with an iron fist and basically just about screwed everything up because his vision was not clear enough. Then he has the hide to rail at R* (who saved his arse) and the employees (who he treated like dirt, by all accounts). I'd hardly blame R* in this respect, at least as long as the studio heads remain in place. Get rid of them and the studio might end up going somewhere.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:33:54 PM
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wow. there was a time when team bondi was almost considered rockstar sydney and it looked like they would work well together. it's too bad the relationship fell apart.

la noire is a great game. i am thrilled that la noire is one of the rare multiplat titles that turned out better on ps3.

it sounds like head of team bondi had some issues about how they were treated by r*. they managed to crank out a great game but then turn around and complain about the working conditions. they should be happy they just released a successful new ip instead of tearing each other apart.

it's just an unfortunate mess that does not reflect well on the gaming industry.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 7/6/2011 1:37:08 PM

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main_event05
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:47:21 PM
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Maybe the awful conditions is just the by product of R*'s process, they always make kick ass games in short periods of time (compared to most) and maybe bondi wasn't used to it or wasn't as prepared as those at R* are.

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Dante399
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:12:09 PM
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I've just beaten the game and I've found it one of the best games I've ever played *sigh* really good things never last in this world, what a shame.

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Simcoe
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:35:18 PM
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Does everyone forget that R* San Diego had similar PR problems regarding working conditions prior to releasing RDR? With all the stuff I've read about R* over the years, Team Bondi must have some really bad management if even R* is stepping away!

Dancemachine, Lawless and the other Aussie's on this board, don't worry you have a lot of talented people that made a fantastic game. Hopefully, given the right support, one or two new studios will arise from the talented people who'd rather not work for Team Bondi again.

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Nas Is Like
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:06:52 PM
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Well, according to the title, this is still a rumour. I guess best we can do now is hope it's not factual.

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:31:22 PM

I would not expect it.

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___________
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 3:49:32 AM
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amazing how far one pompous arrogant stuck up prick can bring down a entire company!
he should join sony, him, tretton and house would get along perfectly!
match made in heaven!

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Crabba
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 9:27:04 PM

what are you talking about??

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Crabba
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 9:30:04 PM
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I hope the IGDA is seriously investigating Brendan McNamara about those brutal working conditions, because if what I've read recently is even remotely true that guy should go to jail, for a very long time. That's not just bad working conditions, that must be seriously illegal and punishable by jail time.

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