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Report: Rockstar "Saved" L.A. Noire From "Insane Decisions"

Jonathan Lester
Rockstar, Team Bondi
L.A. Noire | Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Rockstar "Will Not Publish" Team Bondi's Next Game

Report: Rockstar "Saved" L.A. Noire From "Insane Decisions"

You might think that L.A. Noire's brisk sales and massive profits would have provided a firm foundation for a lasting partnership between Team Bondi and Rockstar, but according to a sensational series of leaked emails, the relationship between the two companies has been strained to breaking point. Apparently mutual resentment over disagreements about creative control, branding and management style has made it impossible for Bondi and Rockstar to work together, hitting like a sledgehammer after claims of unfair working conditions last week. We have the full report on the sorry situation below.

Gamesindustry.biz has reportedly gotten their hands on internal emails from Team Bondi's upper management, stating that Rockstar's "disdain" for the studio means that they are actively having to seek a new publisher for their next title. According to statements made by an anonymous ex-executive, Bondi boss Brendan McNamara takes full credit for L.A. Noire's success - but that Rockstar were ultimately responsible for "saving the project" by providing additional staff, creative input, advertising and financial support.

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.

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 LA Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago.

Apparently Rockstar's input was instrumental in overruling "many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management," and that the battles waged over creative control has let to massive distrust and aggravation on both sides. Rockstar were reportedly looking to buy out the studio at one stage, but "the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea."

It takes two to tango, though. McNamara, recently accused of forcing brutal working conditions and an inappropriately angry working environment on his employees, was  alleged to have been furious about a number of Rockstar's marketing decisions (such as cutting Team Bondi branding out of a restyled logo) and took it as a personal insult rather than a business decision.

Every dog has its day and there's going to be hell to pay for this one. I'll never forget being treated like an absolute **** by these people. - McNamara, accidentally sent to Team Bondi's entire dev team

After L.A. Noire's PC version and DLC schedule is finalised, it's therefore likely that the two companies will go their seperate ways - and that there'll be no shortage of potential takers for Team Bondi's next project. That is, if they manage to weather an IGDA investigation into their working environment. We'll keep you posted. [Gamesindustry]

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