The interview that has lead to an official IGDA investigation into the workplace conditions at Team Bondi have had a secondary effect that looks to be just as much a backwards step for the Australian developer. GameIndustry.biz (registration required for full article) is reporting via anonymous sources that Rockstar North has led a successful effort to repeal its publishing partnership with the L.A. Noire-makers.
“I’ve heard a lot about Rockstar’s disdain for Team Bondi, and it has been made quite clear that they will not publish Team Bondi’s next game,” said GI.biz’s source. “Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged – Brendan treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project. They continued to sink money into L.A. Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago.”
“Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development; their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game’s development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management,” the sources continued. “At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar’s frustration with Team Bondi’s direction, and eventually Team Bondi’s management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control.”
“It’s also worth pointing out that Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like ‘Rockstar Sydney’ – the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea,” the sources added.
Is Rockstar North being a little too hasty making this decision prior to the IGDA’s report on working conditions? Or is whatever information they hold that we don’t know yet that bad? Comment below, EGs!