Controversy over its chewing up and spitting out employees has apparently caught up with L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi. Rumors are that, close to bankruptcy and unable to find willing partners amidst negative buzz, the company will be acquired and folded into Australia’s KMM Studio.
Among other things, former employees say the company left 100 names off of L.A. Noire’s credits and pushed employees to put in unreasonably long hours in “appalling” work conditions.
“There was simply an expectation that you’d work overtime and weekends,” said a source. “I was told that I was taking the piss by saying that I couldn’t give every single one of my weekends away. We were looked at as a disposable resource, basically. If you weren’t in the ‘inner circle’” – an exclusive group which seems to have consisted of the former Team Soho employees – “you were just a resource to be burned through,” he says. “Their attitude is: ‘it’s a privilege to work for us, and if you can’t hack it, you should leave…’”
Why would KMM want to get involved in all this? The studio’s George Miller (he of Mad Max fame) likes the developer’s work and is said to be impressed by the refusal of its controversial leader, Brendan McNamara, to compromise on his vision.
Among some KMM employees, news of the move isn’t going over well. Many jumped from Team Bondi because they didn’t like working there.
Graphic: Rockstar Games