Team Bondi, the developer behind the Rockstar-publisher L.A Noire might be no more, according to multiple reports.
While I didn’t like L.A Noire all that much as a game, as an interactive vehicle for digital storytelling, it’s nearly unparalleled – and most of that has to do with the incredible facial capture, though, admittedly the now defunct Team Bondi could have put a little more effort in to the body capture and animation. This “gag reel” of outtakes and bloopers from L.A Noire highlights just how amazing the facial capture was though.
Rockstar Games has a busy year ahead of them, with numerous big budget titles hitting shelves throughout the 2012 period. Two such games are the much anticipated Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5.
In an “Asked and Answered” feature on their site forums, Rockstar found themselves bombarded with questions about these projects, as well as enquiries into a certain game that debuted last year, that went by the name of LA Noire.
Here’s what they had to say.
So just what is the controversial creator of LA Noire working on next? He teased readers a few weeks ago by describing the project as “One of the great untold stories of the twentieth century”, but was coy from that point on, but it looks like McNamara is going east for his next project, as he looks set to tell the story of Shanghai City.
Controversial developer Brendan McNamara may not be working on a sequel to the hit LA Noire any time soon, due to his studio, Team Bondi, having filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean that he is out of the game-making business completely.
At the Bradford Animation Festival 2011 this week, McNamara spoke about his next big project, and what he learnt about game-making after his experiences with LA Noire.
Team Bondi are most well known for developing the excellent L.A. Noire… actually they are only known for that because in 8 years that’s all they managed to develop.
So it’s with little surprise that we heard recently that Team Bondi would be closing but what is a little surprising is that not only are they horribly indebted they also owe their staff a million dollars.
The studio behind the critically acclaimed LA Noire is facing bankruptcy, according to a report from Kotaku Australia, with studio Head Brendan McNamara looking to merge with another local company, all thanks to recent allegations over tyrannical working conditions, and Rockstar Games publically admitting that they will no longer publish any of their games.
It seems the workplace controversy surrounding Team Bondiâ€™s recently released blockbuster L.A Noire isnâ€™t ending any time soon. Following last month's allegations over less than pleasant working conditions at the Sydney-based developer comes word â€“ from anonymous ex Bondi staffers â€“ that relations between Rockstar and Team Bondi have soured past the point of reconciliation.
It means Rockstar wonâ€™t be publishing Team Bondiâ€™s next game â€“ putting a sequel to the revolutionary 1940â€™s crime thriller in jeopardy.
See that shiny new game in your hands? Its not just a freshly pressed disc bundled in a case, its the result of hundreds of people pooling their talent together to craft something that the gaming community will enjoy, a process that takes several years from start to finish. And while a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into creating these digital masterpieces, its not always made public just how overworked some studios are.
Nick de Bruyne
So youâ€™re a multi-console owner wondering which version of Rockstar and Team Bondiâ€™s latest smash hit to get, unconvinced that the fact that the PS3 version comes on a single disc as opposed to 3 is reason enough to sway your purchase. Eurogamerâ€™s Digital Foundry is here to save you from making a purchasing mistake.
In another of their infamous face-offs, theyâ€™ve compared the PS3 and Xbox versions of the game. Which comes up trumps?
Nick de Bruyne
LA Noire is out and getting great reviews, but it seems like a lot of people are confused about what type of game LA Noire really is. Just because it comes from Rockstar, it doesn't mean that it's this year's Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption.
In fact, LA Noire is quite the opposite. Is it the type of game you will enjoy? Read this quick article if you aren't sure.
The embargo for L.A Noire has been lifted, and with the removal of that veil we get to see just how good one of the yearâ€™s most anticipated games is. The reviews seem to be overwhelmingly positive, with the lowest score to date coming from the terribly hard to please Eurogamer, and the highest - a 10 - from Videogamer.
Most of the reviews seems to be highlighting one simple fact; L.A Noire is nothing like GTA, and as I said in my own preview, is more homogenous with the point-and-click adventure genre than your general open-world sandbox. If youâ€™re not already frothing at the mouth for the game, these reviews should convince you otherwise. Like many, I was snared in by the positive critical reaction that followed GTA4 â€“ and regretted being suckered by the hype. After putting in a few hours with the game though, Iâ€™m pretty sure we won;t see history repeat itself.
I am guessing that The Guardian didnâ€™t quite read the NDA properly and has now broken embargo with their review of L.A. Noire or they have pulled off a major coup by being able to post a review earlier than the big gaming sites or magazines.
Either way we get a sneak peak at whether or not L.A. Noire is going to be as good as expected or did Team Bondi drop the ball at the very last minute?