Rumor: Rockstar And L.A. Noire’s Team Bondi At Odds


by Matthew Kato

Amidst reports of brutal working conditions at L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi comes an account that the game has destroyed the relationship between the developer and Rockstar Games.

A source has commented to GamesIndustry.biz on the whole saga, and says that during the development of the game the two sides were increasingly at odds with each other.

“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. Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged…,” says the source.

It is the source’s opinion that Rockstar held developer Team Bondi in disdain and ultimately ended up saving the game. “…[Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara] treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision, but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project. They continued to sink money into L.A. Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago.

“Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development,” he continues. “Their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game’s development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management. At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar’s frustration with Team Bondi’s direction, and eventually Team Bondi’s management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control. It’s also worth pointing out that 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.”

The report also contains emails from Team Bondi employees, including Brendan McNamara, exposing some of what was going on (including the reported working conditions) – including McNamara’s reaction to Rockstar pulling the game from E3 2010 and his belief that he was being treated “like an absolute —- by these people.”

468 ad

Leave a Comment