News began to break last week of Team Bondi’s apparently and allegedly deplorable work atmosphere throughout the course of L.A. Noire‘s development cycle. The studio head, Brendan McNamara, supposedly created an environment of unending stress, fear and absurd work hours. Complaints suggested that a regular week consisted of more than 110 hours.
One source has tipped GamesIndustry.biz, a respected news and employment network within the industry, to the termination of the relationship between Rockstar and Team Bondi. GI.biz has also published several internal messages from within Team Bondi that highlight the negative nature of the studio.
GI.biz’s leading source in their story about the end of Rockstar’s publishing track for Team Bondi wrote in to the site at great length about how Rockstar now views the studio. The source explains:
“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…”
While that’s hardly a 100% confirmation of the fact, and being treated a rumor as such, the source does indicate with good evidince that Team Bondi’s time with Rockstar is done. A large reason for that decision on Rockstar’s part stems from the way the upper-management, McNamara included, has behaved.
“Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged – 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.”
It makes sense that Rockstar would want to back away from Team Bondi and the recent jarring news of their management. The massively successful studio doesn’t need that type of reputation staining press. That said, part of me remember a bit of controversy surrounding Rockstar San Diego and the way they were treating their employees near the launch of Red Dead Redemption.
Maybe this is a case of Rockstar wanting to avoid another visit with that type of media situation.