LA Noire studio accused of 'thankless crunch'

LA Noire studio accused of 'thankless crunch'

By Rob Crossley

June 20th 2011 at 2:43PM

Alleged developer says he was not credited on Team Bondi game despite 'arduous work'

A man who claims to have worked Australian studio Team Bondi for three years has said he quit because "I felt as though my sanity depended on it".

The developer, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was asked to work “10-12 hours almost every day and on weekends” to help build Rockstar’s latest game, LA Noire.

He also claims to be one of the 130-odd people not named on LA Noire’s final credits – two accusations that could cast a different light on one of the world’s most promising development studios, Team Bondi.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the alleged insider described working at Team Bondi as “being an inflexible and virtually praise-free environment”.

"After my wife had been pushing me to quit for more than a year, I did," he said.

The developer said he nevertheless deserved to be credited on the game for putting three years of work in.

"There has been a lot of press saying how incredible [LA Noire’s success] is for the Australian gaming industry, since it is the biggest and most successful game made in Australia to date," he said.

"But that has come at the price that most of the people that worked on it will never have proof of having worked there, unless they want to pull out a pay check."

Team Bondi and Rockstar have not publicly commented on the matter.

CREDIT CRUNCH

This is not the first time Team Bondi has been accused of omitting the work of numerous developers on LA Noire’s credits roll.

A new independently run website, called LA Noire Credits, was recently established to credit all people who have worked on the game.

A co-founder of the website, also speaking anonymously to the Sydney Morning Herald, clams that nearly 130 people were not credited for their work on LA Noire.

The IGDA, whose purpose is to clarify general policy on such matters, declined to clarify general policy on the matter.

Antony Reed, head of the Game Developers' Association of Australia, refused to comment.

A spokesperson for the IGDA Melbourne chapter said “it is important for individuals working in the industry to check their contracts before signing them”.

DARK PAST

This is not the first instance that a studio building a Rockstar Games product has been accused of tough employee practices.

Rockstar San Diego – creators of Red Dead Redemption – faced a staff exodus after serious accusations of unremitting crunch work.

And some 50 developers based at Rockstar Vienna had apparently been left off the credits list for Manhunt 2.