Two former Bondi staffers, speaking to Eurogamer sister site Gamesindustry.biz under condition of anonymity, claim Rockstar’s relationship with Team Bondi reached such a low point during the course of the creation of 1940s crime adventure L.A. Noire that it now has “disdain” for the Australian developer.
As a result, Rockstar will not publish Team Bondi’s next game, the former staff members claimed.
The explosive comments follow last month’s allegations over brutal working conditions at the Australian developer, and in particular L.A. Noire writer and director Brendan McNamara’s controversial management style.
“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,” a source said.
“Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged – Brendan 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.”
The International Game Developers Association is investigating Team Bondi following last month’s revelations.
Developers were reportedly asked to work 110-hour weeks during crunch periods, often without overtime pay. Studio boss Brendan McNamara was accused of being abusive to staff, while 130 developers have complained of being left off the game’s credits.
Continued GI’s sources: “Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development; 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.”
Emails sent by McNamara and other Team Bondi managers to the development team, revealed today, expose the true nature of the troubled relationship between the two companies.