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

Team Bondi is being accused of not giving credit where credit is due by failing to acknowledge the efforts of over 100 Australian developers who contributed to L.A. Noire's seven year production cycle, but were otherwise left out of  the end-game credits.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, an industry insider told the Australian paper he had worked on L.A. Noire between 2009 and 2010, but left Team Bondi before the game was finished. Nevertheless, the unidentified developer claimed his work appeared in the final retail version, along with the work of over 130 developers who have not yet been officially acknowledged for their efforts. To fix this oversight, the developer has since posted a list of 'complete credits' to lanoirecredits.com, wherein he explains, “These people devoted their talent, creativity and passion towards the project and, as is common in the games industry, have not been credited because they were not there during the final month or two of production, or other subjective criteria.”

On the site, the source further alleges many of the uncredited L.A. Noire craftsman did not leave the studio by choice, but were forced to vacate Team Bondi due to staff redundancies. Others, like himself, left on their own accord after working countless hours in what he described to the Sydney Morning Herald as being an “inflexible and virtually praise-free environment.”

Regardless of the reasons, the source believes Team Bondi robbed the Aussie developers of their hard-won bragging rights, explaining, "There has been a lot of press saying how incredible this is for the Australian gaming industry, since it is the biggest (and most successful) game made in Australia to date ...But that has come at the price that most of the people that worked on it will never have proof of having worked there (unless they want to pull out a paycheck)."

According to International Game Developers Association's (IGDA) guidelines on game credits, all staffers who work on a project for more than 30 days deserve to be credited regardless if they are around when the game ships. That said, the source admitted some of the uncredited L.A. Noire developers were told upfront their names would be forgotten if they were to leave the company prior to the completion of the project. When asked to comment on this particular case, the IGDA noted, "It's important for individuals working in the industry to check their contracts before signing them so they are aware of how and where they will be credited for their work.”

For now, unless Team Bondi releases some form of "extended credits DLC" (read: unlikely) , the 130-odd uncredited devs will have to make do with their names at lanoirecredits.com or at the IMDB-esque video game website Moby Games.

Jun 21, 2011

[Source: The Sydney Morning Herald]

5 comments

  • AqueousBoy - June 21, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Not everyone gets their name credited in a film, so why does it have to be that way for videogames? I've worked on over 50 different film and TV projects and yet I only have about 5 onscreen credits. Why is the expectation so different for the games industry when that wasn't the norm only a few years ago? Seriously, I'm actually wondering if anyone can answer this question...
  • LTS - June 21, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    This is why I like what 2K games and Gearbox did with Duke Nukem Forever. A few months back, they created a website where they could gather up any credits they might have missed for people who worked on the game. As long as you worked on the game in some way, shape or form, and they validated that, you got credit. I also bet that Team Bondi isn't the only studio that does this.. Also, I'd argue that with movies, it's different in a way. Say you do touch-ups on a script for a movie. As in, come in, re-write little bits and parts. Nothing major, just polishing it before it films. And you don't get credited. Chances are you'll be fine with that since you did so little. But lets say you work on a video game. Pretend there's a part of the game- like driving physics for example- that was not in the game at all before you got there. You and maybe a few others went in and single-handedly put in the driving physics and when you were all done, being your specialty is driving physics, there was nothing left to do, so you're forced to 'resign'. Then you find out you weren't credited for that. You'd be pretty pissed, I bet.
  • DeifiedData - June 21, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    *Forgotten Bondi staffer pops in game, goes directly to the credits instead of actually starting a save file to see his name in print before doing anything else* "Fffffffffuuu - "
  • 435 - June 22, 2011 3:01 p.m.

    This is what EVERYONE does. Believe me, there are probably several dozen industry vets who have, through no fault of their own, never been credited in a game they've been a part of for this very reason. If you did the work, you can still put it in your reel. I understand his frustration, but them's the breaks.
  • therawski - June 21, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    It's upsetting that doing something so easy as adding a name to staff roll is such a problem, giving credit shouldn't be such an issue. At least it's not that shartfest case with infinity ward.

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