As the weeks pass, more light is being shed on LA Noire's sordid development. While much of the spotlight has been on the alleged mistreatment of developer Team Bondi's many employees, today's exposé reveals a strained relationship between Bondi management and publisher Rockstar Games.
A series of e-mails posted on GI.biz further chronicle the mismanagement of the long-in-development adventure game. As the years went by, and money continued to be poured into the project, it appears that Rockstar had to become much more aggressive in its handling of the game. "[Team Bondi director] Brendan [McNamara] treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project," GI's source says. "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."
The clash between Rockstar and Team Bondi seems evident in one of the leaked internal e-mails. "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 allegedly said.
Apparently, the disdain between the two partners is mutual. "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 details, before admitting that "without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago."
In spite of LA Noire's eventual critical acclaim and commercial success, it's unlikely the two will partner again for a sequel. "It has been made quite clear that [Rockstar] will not publish Team Bondi's next game," the source adds. "Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged."