Team Bondi Management: We're Not Slave-Drivers
There are two sides to every story.
Rockstar's L.A. Noire was released to widespread critical acclaim and the publisher shipped over 4 million units of Team Bondi's innovative drama. But recently, the working conditions at the Australian studio have come under fire; we've all heard rumors of 100-hour work weeks, and the IGDA is currently investigating the situation.
Irate employees have made their positions known, but one sought to clarify a few points. Lead gameplay programmer Dave Heironymus wrote a letter to the IGDA and it has been published at Gamasutra. He was part of the management that seems to be so roundly hated due to the aforementioned rumors, and he admitted that as the pressure mounted and deadlines passed, normal 9-6 work days became much longer. But the employees weren't ignored for their efforts.
Heironymus claims there was a program in place to "reward employees for their weekend days spent at work." Plus, during the last 6 months of the project, Team Bondi gave those who worked late on weekends an additional four weeks of vacation time (for after the game was done, obviously). Oh, and lastly, it's not like the lowly peons worked and management stayed at home eating bon-bons. Heironymus says he often spent "around 65 hours per week" at the office, but 100 hours is an exaggeration.
"The management team at Team Bondi was not ensconced in an ivory tower working normal hours while everyone else crunched."
He also had one final message for those seeking to pin a too-harsh judgment on the studio:
"Please think about that when you talk about boycotting L.A. Noire or about how heinous Team Bondi is. There is a team of dedicated game developers here in Sydney that look forward to learning from their mistakes, improving on their successes and taking on the world again next time around."
Related Game(s): L.A. Noire
7/13/2011 8:34:50 PM Ben Dutka