LA Noire director blames 'bad press' for studio closure

By Steve Watts, Nov 10, 2011 12:00pm PST

LA Noire received critical praise and a lot of attention for its facial animation tech, but its launch was amid buzz of studio troubles. Now studio head Brendan McNamara has commented on Team Bondi's shuttering, blaming it on poor project timing. He also talked about his relationship with Rockstar, and compared his reputation to a sandwich spread.

He says the closure was because the studio hadn't signed another project, which he attributes to "a lot of bad press about what it was like to work with us and our conditions. That, obviously, didn't come at the right time." He also says that penning a deal for a game is a long process, and the team was focused on Noire right up until it was finished.

Since Rockstar published LA Noire, it would seem like an obvious choice to have them publish Team Bondi's follow-up game. But, that wasn't in the cards. Calling the situation "volatile," McNamara says the publisher might not have wanted to chip in as much as they'd had to before.

"I think their real problem is when they're coming to the end of things, the whole company has to focus on that game," he said. "We had lots of help from Rockstar in Leeds. We had QA, the whole world, in different parts of Rockstar, working on the game. We had the whole PR team... That's a difficult thing for them to do across many projects. I'm probably speaking for them when I shouldn't be."

Meanwhile, he's gained a reputation himself for his management style. "People are entitled to their opinion," he said. "I'm perfectly happy for people to say they don't like working with me or I'm a bully or I'm this or whatever. The part that annoys me is people do it anonymously. I'd rather they just ring me up and tell me to f**k off, right?

"Vicky, who runs our studio, says I'm like Vegemite. People either love you or hate you. And there's a lot of people who don't like Vegemite."

McNamara is currently pitching a new game to publishers.

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