L.A. Noire released to critical praise earlier this year, but it was followed by a dark cloud of controversy due to working conditions in the weeks that followed. Brendan McNamara, who was head of the now dissolved Team Bondi, indicates that the post-release controversy prevented the studio from signing a new contract.
“Mainly, I’d say because we got a lot of bad press about what it was like to work with us and our conditions,” said McNamara. “That, obviously, didn’t come at the right time. 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 the game 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.”
Rumors floated about that Team Bondi existed in a state of extreme “crunch mode” all of the time. With 110 hour work weeks, unpaid overtime and enmity between the staff and the management. For his part, McNamara defended the development process.
“Yeah, 110 hour weeks are tough,” said McNamara. “But not many people worked 110 hour weeks making L.A. Noire, I can tell you that. And it wasn’t mandatory. It was just, yeah, it was hard, and it was brutal, but I would say, most of those triple-A games, when you aren’t sure of what the technology is, and you aren’t sure what the process is, it’s going to be pretty difficult. Time’s a finite thing. You can’t extend it forever. We certainly had plenty of time.”
As for what he and former members of Team Bondi are doing, McNamara said, “A lot of people who were working on L.A. Noire have gone across to KMM, some of them to be working on some of the film projects. A lot of the art and animation guys went across. Some of the people have gone to work in different Rockstar studios. I’m personally just writing some new stuff now, which I’ve been pitching around for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll have something to announce on that pretty soon.”