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Report: LA Noire Was Development Hell, Rockstar No Longer Working With Team Bondi

Illustration for article titled Report: emLA Noire/em Was Development Hell, Rockstar No Longer Working With Team Bondi

Andrew McMillen, who published the original report on IGN claiming poor work conditions at LA Noire developer Team Bondi, has now published on GI.biz what's claimed to be a series of leaked internal emails that don't exactly paint Bondi's boss, Brendan McNamara, in a good light.

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Amongst the bad blood between Rockstar and Team Bondi on display in the emails, there's the news that the publisher will no longer be working with the Sydney-based developer. There's also claims that the game, over six years in development, was only finished after direct involvement by Rockstar.

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"Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development; their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game's development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management," one of the source of the emails tells GI.biz.

"At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar's frustration with Team Bondi's direction, and eventually Team Bondi's management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control."

"It's also worth pointing out that Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like 'Rockstar Sydney'—the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea."

You can read the full report, including the alleged emails, at the link below.

Rockstar declined to comment on this rumor.

Illustration for article titled Report: emLA Noire/em Was Development Hell, Rockstar No Longer Working With Team Bondi
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Revealed: The emails behind the whistle blowing at Team Bondi [GI.biz, registration required]

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DISCUSSION

Also, L.A. Noire's only managed to sell 900K copies on both systems in the US in its first month, so yeah, huge bomb given the development costs. Besides which, Rockstar/Take Two pumped 50 million dollars into the development of this game, though some claim they spent as much as $100 million, putting the budget on par with GTA IV.

The last two months haven't been kind to Take Two at all, since they were just recouping their losses on both L.A. Noire and Duke Nukem Forever. They're going to need Bioshock Infinite to pull in some really strong sales this fall. Good luck on that though.