L.A. Noire's Team Bondi under investigation for "harmful" working conditions

L.A. Noire studio Team Bondi will soon be at the center of its own investigation, as the International Game Developers Association has confirmed it will be looking into allegations that the studio enforced “absolutely unacceptable” working conditions upon L.A. Noire staffers in order to push the sandbox detective game out the door.

(Psst - a word of advice to Team Bondi's founder Brian McNamara: avoid looking to the left during questioning).

The investigation follows claims from Team Bondi employees that management kept developers under a persistent “crunch time”, strong-arming staff to work upwards of 110 hours per week without adequate compensation. Insider sources have also accused Team Bondi higher-ups of being unnecessarily hostile, and fostering an intimidating work environment. Although IGDA said it will not comment specifically on the allegations until it speaks to Team Bondi itself, Brian Robbins, chair of the IGDA Board of Directors, told Develop: “Certainly reports of 12-hour a day, lengthy crunch time, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the individuals involved, the final product, and the industry as a whole ...We encourage any Team Bondi employee and/or family member to email with comments about the recent past and current situation - positive or negative.”

Above: A typical Team Bondi staff meeting?

A complete run down of grievances was posted to IGN, where McNamara oferred his perspective on the accusations, saying, "I'm not in any way upset or disappointed by what I've done, and what I've achieved … I'm not even remotely defensive about it. I think, if people want to do what I've done – to come here and do that – then good luck to them. If people who've left the company want to go out there and have some success, then good luck to them. If they don't want to do that with me, that's fine, too. It's like musical differences in a rock and roll band, right? People say they do want to do it; some don't."

Last week, a group of L.A. Noire developers who left the studio before the its release charged Team Bondi with wrongly omitting their names from the game's credits. They have since launched to give credit where they believe credit is due.

Jun 28, 2011

[Source: Develop / IGN]

Team Bondi accused of dropping developers from L.A. Noire's credits
L.A. Noire's uncredited developers seeking recognition

L.A. Noire Review
Why do they always run?


  • IHateMakingUserIDs - June 29, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    110 hours a week is not 12 hours a day, it is almost 15 hours and 45 minutes a day, including weekends or 22 hours a day when weekends off. Add to that commute time, and you only have time off of work to sleep. Seems a little slave-y to me, even if they are making good money. No one may have a gun to their head forcing them to work, but the economic climate and the volitility of the video game industry means you stay at your job until fired, and hope you get scooped up by another company. Not all gaming devs have tight deadlines. Duke Nukem took 14 years to come out, and one of the top companies Blizzard goes with the "When we have it done right it is done" policy. Besdies, wasn't L.A. Noire already pushed back over a year once? Sorry that comment was a total nit-pick, but ever point has a counter point.
  • Psylockerules - June 28, 2011 10:47 p.m.

    Wheres the advertising? i havent seen nout on the tele box :( ill be getting shadows of the damned coz ive got a boner for Suda51 but all they had to dowas put music by silent hill guy, the minds of MGS and Nomore heroes. Surprised by child of eden thought that would be the Kinect game everybody wanted. maybe the Kinect bubble has burst sooner than expected.
  • Psylockerules - June 28, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    Good! hope that McNamara gets whats coming to him.
  • DeifiedData - June 28, 2011 9 p.m.

    Hah, looks like that "harmful" working environment put out one hell of a game. In all seriousness: * A 12-hour work day is nothing compared to other industries out there. Those staffers should be thankful they don't work in a foundry or, even worse, in Hollywood. * No one's forcing them to work in these conditions - the fact that they haven't quit means the job's more important than the abuse, so they get little sympathy from me. There's always a choice in situations like this, and they made their's. * Fun fact: ALL GAMING DEVS HAVE TIGHT DEADLINES! It's an inalienable facet of the industry - EVERY creative industry. People get into the industry knowing full well they'll be pulling all-nighters, especially as the deadline approaches. If they weren't prepared for that, there are plenty of other career options out there. Gotta admit, McNamara sounds like a total dick, the way he says "...if you want to do what *I'VE* done...". What is it he did, exactly? If you're going to work your men to the quick, at least give credit where credit is due. Guy makes himself out to be the company at large. Really abnoxious.
  • CoryRX8 - June 28, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    Wow, McNamara's response is pretty despicable. I definitely won't be buying L.A. Noire after this, or anything else with Team Bondi's name on it for that matter.
  • bawrash - June 28, 2011 7:15 p.m.

    Dont know anything about worker rights in australia but sounds possibly like a very large payout to not only those that left or got sacked but also the ones that stuck it out in these conditions for all those years.
  • Rockmotron9000 - June 28, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    Look like this case just went into, *puts on shades*, crunch time....YYEEEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
  • DrFred79 - June 28, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    Awesome caption is awesome ! :)
  • shadowreaper72 - June 28, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    Wow, looks like Team Bondie needs a little cleaning house of management.
  • mockraven - June 28, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    Investigation of the game developing offices of an investigation-based game? Ironic, to say the least. Hope things square away in the end.
  • FlikNightshade - June 28, 2011 6:49 p.m.

    Why does the manager's statement ring of Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men? No out right denial or repudiation of the point, more just, "I did what I needed to do so who the fuck cares."
  • TheIronMaiden - June 28, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    wow this and leaving people out of the credits? What the hell is team Bondi up to over there?
  • RicePuddingUK - June 28, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    Is it dirty minded of me that the main picture for this article onthe home page looks like Phelps is imitating oral sex?

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