McNamara: Crunch fiasco was why Team Bondi closed

McNamara: Crunch fiasco was why Team Bondi closed

By Rob Crossley

November 10th 2011 at 10:38AM

LA Noire studio boss breaks silence on how Australiaâ??s most promising outfit broke apart

Brendan McNamara, the former studio head of LA Noire developer Team Bondi, believes his studio ultimately closed down due to bad press surrounding the company.

Team Bondi, which over the summer had become engulfed in a working practices scandal, was ultimately liquidated at the loss of scores of jobs. When LA Noire was in full production, it was alleged that McNamara and his executive team had allowed staff to work seven-day-weeks for prolonged periods, while average working hours at the studio were 60 hours per week.

There were claims from some developers that their shifts had increased to 110 hours per week to meet production milestones.

The first wave of accusations, made by anonymous former staff, opened the floodgates to numerous other instances of whistleblowing. Throughout this whole period, Team Bondi had remained silent despite numerous requests to shed light on the matter.

Now, in a new interview with Eurogamer, McNamara has broken his silence on the matter.

He said the main reason why the studio closed down was “because we got a lot of bad press about what it was like to work with us and our conditions”.

“That, obviously, didn't come at the right time,” he said, in reference to the fact that the working conditions scandal occurred as a new contract was being sought.

“To do a deal for a major video game probably takes about a year. We didn't start running around doing that stuff until well after LA Noire was finished. That's the problem when a game is all consuming and you need to get out there and do whatever you need to do to get people to know it and interested.”

Elsewhere in the interview, McNamara revealed that he has a new project in the works, a console game that he has been "pitching around for the last couple of weeks".

He said the new project is going to be “one of the great untold stories of the twentieth century”.