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Report: Rockstar Will Not Work With Team Bondi Again

Report: Rockstar Will Not Work With Team Bondi Again

July 5, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Rockstar Games will not be publishing any future titles from LA Noire developer Team Bondi due to a "badly damaged" relationship between the two companies, according to media reports.

In a report [registration required], an unnamed Team Bondi ex-staff member explained that co-founder Brendan McNamara and his management team made "insane decisions" that were eventually overruled by Rockstar.

"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," said the source.

"Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged - Brendan treats LA 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," continued the ex-Team Bondi staffer.

Discussing Rockstar's contribution to LA Noire's development in more depth, the source said, "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."

"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."

The source concluded, "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."

Last month, a number of developers who worked on LA Noire said they were subsequently left without credit, describing 10-12 hour work-days, including weekends.

Studio head Brendan McNamara later claimed that he had done nothing wrong, stating, "It's my game... I can go to anyone I want in the team and say, 'I want it changed'... I've been doing it for a long time, and it seems to have worked out so far for me."

Gamasutra has contacted Rockstar parent Take-Two for comment on the report.

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