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Report: Troubled LA Noire dev Team Bondi sells off assets and offers employees severance deals

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According to industry news site Develop the company responsible for one of 2011’s biggest games is basically no more. Team Bondi created the Rockstar published LA Noire to acclaim and big sales, yet the company was in trouble almost immediately afterward, perhaps due to the lethal mix of upset employees and pissing off one of the biggest game makers around. Now it’s being reported that the rumors were true, as the company is joining up with KMM, a company associated with Mad Max and… sigh… Happy Feet…

KMM is buying off Bondi’s assets according to”[a]n insider who engages with both companies locally,” that Develop contacted. As part of the deal, KMM gains unspecified assets and IP from Bondi, which we would guess includes the face capturing tech used in LA Noire. We like to imagine KMM will end up with a huge pile of size 8 shoes the dev incorporated into countless LA Noire Homicide cases. However, those IPs purchased don’t include the million-seller LA Noire, as Rockstar owns the franchise, not Bondi.

Current Bondi employees are reportedly being offered new positions at KMM to work under controversial Bondi boss Brendan McNamara, or the workers can quit and take a severance package. After gossip of McNamara’s shabby treatment of employees, perhaps they’ll take the compensation over employment, though how many other game development houses are there in Australia for them to apply to?

For a company some once expected to be purchased by Rockstar, this current reality can’t be seen as a triumph, though maybe that’s just how it looks from the outside. Just because the only game KMM has been involved in so far is the upcoming Happy Feet 2 movie tie-in doesn’t mean they won’t one day publish the next Portal or BioShock. Blizzard once made a crappy Justice League fighting game, so anything can happen. We at least hope this teaches our readers the importance of being nice to others, especially if those “others” include an industry titan like Rockstar.

Aug 9, 2011

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Rockstar

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11 comments

  • HarryBalls - August 10, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    @Crypto140- Word. I like your sarcasm. People are expendable.
  • Crypto140 - August 10, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    At least the L.A. Noire rights are safe, thats all that matters. Oh, and the hundreds of people out of work, but mostly the game.
  • MeanwhileGuy - August 10, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    This is good news, Bondi were obviously way out of their depth in the 7 years they spent creating their glorified tech demo, as R* obviously had to step in and make sure the game was even half decent. Though I can't believe that a tosspot like McNamara automatically has a secure job at KMM. Hopefully the next L.A Noire content will take a different direction, as all the semi free-roaming and gun battles were massively out of place, and the actual investigating was basically walking around and pressing A/X until you found something, and don't get me started on the barely interactive cutscen- sorry "interrogating".
  • Bobbety - August 10, 2011 3:33 a.m.

    Nice banner image
  • cman12314 - August 10, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    At least Rockstar has LA Noire, because that truly was a great game, and I'd love to see an even better sequel
  • Redeater - August 9, 2011 11:57 p.m.

    This is actually good news. Rockstar owns the IP so if they take over L.A. Noire 2 will be that much better. Still is a shame about the employees though.
  • kc2 - August 9, 2011 11:45 p.m.

    The only thing I care about is if Rockstar gets the face technology....
  • therawski - August 9, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    Anyone following this had to have seen this coming.
  • idlemindkiller - August 9, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    Sucks for them I guess. They could have had it made if Rockstar would have scooped them up. What Rockstar should do is offer the employees from Bondi a chance to come work under some real management.
  • Hobojedi - August 9, 2011 11:29 p.m.

    "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper."
  • Zepaw - August 9, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    Obviously a lot of things led up to this but it is amazing how suddenly developers sometimes fold after their big release. Perhaps without that big project tying them together the excuses to split become stronger than those to stay.

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