The developers within Team Bondi, the studio that was behind the co-developed Rockstar detective game L.A. Noire, have levied a series of anonymous complaints and accusations at the studio head. These accusations have come from legitimate sources within the company, according to IGN. Almost all of the accusations and complaints have been tossed at Team Bondi studio head Brendan McNamara.
The general tone of the outrage stems from working conditions that produced anger-filled environments and outrageously long work weeks. Some staffers claim that a normal work week for the studio would reach the 110 hour mark; of course, compare that to the more acceptable 40 hour point and you can see why these folks would find themselves angry enough to reach out.
The employees, some former and some current, claim that McNamara is one of the largest reasons for all of the mistreatment for the Australian studio. One anonymous source spoke about the fact that McNamara was an unreasonable leader and didn’t respond at all to criticism; such that he made it pointless to complain at all.
“Often the leads weren’t involved. If you’d talk to your lead and say, ‘Hey, Brendan’s making this unreasonable demand,’ they’d be understanding, but they’re ultimately powerless. They can’t go and tell Brendan that it’s not feasible, just as much as I couldn’t tell him. He just won’t listen to reason.”
All of these complaints, whether warranted or not, have piqued the curiosity of the IGDA. The IGDA is the International Game Developers Association, and they’re apparently now listening to the complaints of both current and former Team Bondi employees. Brian Robbins, Chair of the IGDA Board of Directors, spoke to Develop about the issue.
“[But] certainly reports of 12-hour a day, lengthy crunch time, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the individuals involved, the final product, and the industry as a whole…We encourage any Team Bondi employee and/or family member to email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments about the recent past and current situation – positive or negative”
Hopefully these accusation are either false or will be rectified quickly. The gaming industry serves as a bright spot in the creative world. Things like this would contribute to the death of that notion if they go unchallenged.