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LA Noire dev owed over $1M to employees

A new report indicates that over 75% of the debt that ultimately forced L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi to close its doors came from unpaid wages at the studio.

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A new report indicates that over 75% of the debt that ultimately forced L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi to close its doors came from unpaid wages at the studio.

Of the AU$1,425,156.78 ($1.4M USD) owed to creditors when the studio shuttered, over one million was intended to pay employees, along with tens of thousands owed to developers who defended the studio's working conditions. Additionally, documents filed with the Australian Securities And Investments Commission note the company's controversial executives were owed nearly $100k a piece.

The paperwork, discovered by Edge, reveals that even the company behind L.A. Noire's state-of-the-art MotionScan facial animation is owed thousands of dollars, despite being one of the most important factors for the game's success. Depth Analysis, the company formed by Team Bondi studio boss Brendan McNamara, is still owed $145,795.83 for the project.

Edge details a laundry list of divisions throughout Team Bondi owed backpay, including David Heironymus, the gameplay lead that staunchly denied claims of excessive crunch time and publicly defended the team's boss McNamara. According to the filings, Heironymus is owed over $40,000.

McNamara himself is owed $102,495.16, the highest amount owed to any single person involved on the project. Even Team Bondi's own accountants have been shortchanged, being owed a total $54,427.01 at the time of the studio's closure.

An appointed liquidator is expected to handle the sale of any of the company's remaining assets as well as outstanding payment of debts before the studio is officially closed for good.

Xav de Matos was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 7, 2011 5:15 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, LA Noire dev owed over $1M to employees.

    A new report indicates that over 75% of the debt that ultimately forced L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi to close its doors came from unpaid wages at the studio.

    • reply
      October 7, 2011 7:28 PM

      I heard nothing but great things about this game, sad that the devs are falling on hard times. That is pretty tight that even in financial hard times, they are still respecting each other. I'd love to buy the game to support them but the PC version isn't out yet.

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        October 7, 2011 10:13 PM

        yeah the game wasnt a commercial success or what - i thought it was popular

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          October 8, 2011 10:02 AM

          It was a big hit. I think it moved 4-6 million copies, probably more by now, but it was in development for a very long time and...well...it just cost too much to make.

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      October 7, 2011 9:49 PM

      No wonder Rockstar dropped the developer like a hot potato.

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        October 8, 2011 10:19 AM

        Didn't want to be one-up'd in front of all the the other sweat shops?

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      October 8, 2011 7:21 AM

      Well, at least they can't blame piracy.

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      October 8, 2011 7:56 AM

      If Bondi managed their books better, minded their budget constraints, etc. do you think L.A. Noire would have been as good as it was?

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        October 8, 2011 11:25 AM

        If they had been managed better in general yeah I think it would have been as good maybe even better considering they had to dump a ton of content they couldn't finish. It may have actually been a better game in some areas had they been better focused. It seems like they clearly had some very talented people working for them but the people in charge were idiots.

    • reply
      October 8, 2011 7:57 AM

      Canadian Menz: $29.99 for LA Noire now @ FutureShop. (Ends Oct 9th)

      I really want to play this game, but I've got a barely played copy of Red Dead Redemption I got in July, and although I can't get up the inspiration to pay it, I feel like I should finish that before getting LA Noire.

      So many great games I am so behind on that I have yet to even see/purchase:

      BioShock 2
      L.A. Noire
      Portal 2
      RAGE

      (and coming soon)
      Assassin's Creed: Revelations
      Uncharted 3

    • reply
      October 8, 2011 8:31 AM

      This explains a lot: http://au.xbox360.ign.com/articles/117/1179020p1.html

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      October 8, 2011 10:07 AM

      The hole keeps getting deeper and deeper. Truly sad, as the game was great.

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      October 8, 2011 6:55 PM

      Bottom line the game was great, their time management wasn't and their hairy as a gorilla boss screwed up the whole thing for the company. Rockstar was in the middle of it having to go all the way funding it but could of dropped like Sony did in the first place... It would of made a good PS3 exclusive but even Sony's not that dumb dealing with them...

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