Oh dear. Team Bondi, developers of 1940s crime caper LA Noire, have been placed into administration amid reports of brutal working conditions and former publisher Rockstar Games ditching the studio in the wake of the controversy. Rumours emerged last month that Mad Max director George Miller's animation outfit KMM were interested in picking up the studio, but it would appear Team Bondi's rescue came to nothing, as Australian business and financing site Smart Company broke the news this morning that the studio has been placed into administration.
Riad Tayeh and David Solomons of de Vries Tayeh have been appointed as administrators of Team Bondi. When Smart Company contacted their official offices for a response, they were informed the company was "no longer located there", having seemingly been evicted or up and left in a hurry. KMM, the Australian animation studio reported to be interested in Bondi, refused to comment on either their potential purchase or the studio's future.
It's a sorry state of affairs, especially for a game as well-received as LA Noire. It sold millions of copies, averaged a very strong critical score and was seemingly well on its way to bona fide franchise, despite Rockstar's refusal to pick up a sequel. However, shortly after its release, several former Team Bondi employees spoke out about the harsh treatment they endured working under studio boss Brendan McNamara. A portion of staff outsourced by Bondi to work on LA Noire didn't even make it to the credits crawl at the end.
As it stands, the future of LA Noire doesn't look particularly bright, what with Bondi embroiled in potential financial disaster. It was widely reported the studio had moved forward with work on a sequel, but it remains to be seen what will become of that particular project. [Smart Company]