L.A. Noire dev Team Bondi enters administration

By Alice O'Connor, Sep 01, 2011 6:45am PDT

L.A. Noire's deeply troubled developer Team Bondi has entered administration in a bid to keep from going under, official documents show. It's far too early to say whether the process will save the Australian studio and pay off its debts or see it close.

Australia administration is similar to the USA's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It allows failing companies to keep from shutting down while an appointed administrator attempts to regain solvency, reorganising the business, selling off assets, and laying off staff if needs be.

Team Bondi has yet to comment on entering administration, but business records (via Gamasutra) show the stark truth.

The studio has had a rough time since the launch of L.A. Noire in May, despite a strong critical and commercial reception. First, it was alleged that over 100 people who had worked on the game were left out of the credits. Then, complaints about 100+-hour working weeks and a hostile workplace led to the International Game Developers Association launching an investigation into the studio. Unconfirmed reports later suggested that the bad situation at Team Bondi went far beyond working conditions.

One report said that Noire publisher Rockstar would have no interest in publishing Team Bondi's next game, after being frustrated by dealing with Team Bondi's direction, or lack thereof. Rockstar taking more creative control also led to resentment from the Aussie management, so the story goes.

Another report, earlier this month, said that Team Bondi had sold its intellectual property and assets to Australian multimedia production studio Kennedy Miller Mitchell. It was also said that Team Bondi staff were offered a choice of new jobs at KMM or severance pay.

The best of luck to the folks at Team Bondi in these troubled times.

"But what about me?" you may ask. As the PC edition of L.A. Noire is in development at Rockstar Leeds, not Team Bondi, that's almost certainly safe.

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