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