LA Noire developer to be emptied of staff, according to unverified sources
Sydney studio Team Bondi is on the precipice of financial collapse, according to a growing number of online sources.
Claims that the company is filing for bankruptcy originate from the Neogaf discussion board. They have not been substantiated by an official representative.
A Team Bondi spokesperson declined to initially comment when approached by Develop, though a statement from the company is being sought.
The unverified claims suggest that Team Bondi's remaining staff are going to be bought by Kennedy Miller Mitchell (KMM) – a Sydney based production studio that works across a range of media, including games.
Team Bondi figurehead Brendan McNamara is apparently joining KMM too – a move that, if true, would unite him with staff who left Team Bondi during the production of LA Noire.
The Neogaf post reported that Rockstar Games owns the LA Noire IP – a claim which is not public knowledge but, Develop understands, is accurate. Rockstar Leeds is building the PC edition of LA Noire.
Sources close to the matter have also told Develop that there is currently no partnership underway between Team Bondi and Rockstar Games.
Troubles for Team Bondi began when a group of developers claimed they had been unfairly removed from the LA Noire credits roll.
That sparked further whistleblowing from former studio staff, some of which claimed to have worked 100-hour weeks, including weekends, in order to meet project milestones.
Then internal emails began to leak and circulate, many of which detailed further the controversial work practices at Team Bondi.
The overtime scandal began to engulf Team Bondi – an independent studio which relies on reputation to win work contracts.
The company may have escalated the problem itself by not issuing any statements that challenged the overtime allegations, save for one opinion piece written by a senior developer.