L.A. Noire dev $1.4M in debt - Report

Documents filed with Australian government reveal Team Bondi heavily indebted to staff and MotionScan company on the eve of closure.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi was moving to officially shut its doors, following months of turmoil related to accusations of abusive work conditions. Now, another layer to the closure has been revealed. Documents filed through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission state Team Bondi owes a total of $1.4 million Australian dollars ($1.37 million) to its creditors.

Team Bondi's debts have been called in.

According to Edge, which obtained the government documents, these parties include more than 30 Team Bondi employees, who are owed values ranging from $19,000 to over $100,000 each.

Team Bondi boss Brendan McNamara is high on the list of creditors. According to Edge's report, McNamara is owed $102,000, which is the highest amount listed in the documents for a single person.

Also named as creditors in the documents are a number of companies. The most prominent of these is Depth Analysis, the firm that created the MotionScan technology used for facial animation in L.A. Noire. According to the documents, Depth Analysis is owed more than $145,000.

Released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in May, L.A. Noire quickly topped the sales charts and went on to ship a total of 4 million units. A PC version of the game is set to launch next month. For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review of L.A. Noire.

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Discussion

128 comments
Slbbenfica
Slbbenfica

It is not a joke. I just dont know. Carlyn Petit is a guy or a girl?

Bowser05
Bowser05

@lmaocarrots You know what, to be fair at the time I WAS looking for something with a little more action after having just come from playing Dragon Age and Arena, so I do plan on giving LA Noire another chance. I don't like to buy games and not beat them. Either way now that it's cleared up, there you go.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@RavenXavier No need for any worries,its a solid fact.Rockstar Leeds is already making it,and Rockstar owns the L.A. Noire IP,so we will be playing it next month,as I said,release date,November 8 :)

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

@Rocker6 Lets hope so man, lets hope so.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Great! Places that treat there employess like crap should go out of buisness!

lmaocarrots
lmaocarrots

@Humikimi My "attack" was purely as a result of you calling it "terrible". If you said "I did not enjoy the game" it would've been fine, but you can't call a game terrible that most people give 9 and ups. Theres a difference between terrible andnot personally liking it. You haven't lost all credibility though, because you mentioned Heavy Rain and that's one of the greatest games ever made. Great Job.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@RavenXavier No worries,Rockstar owns the L.A. Noire IP,so PC version wont get canceled.Release date is November 8,says PC gamer magazine,so that means game is now almost complete.

jdog8888888
jdog8888888

Wow. 4 million copies of the game and somehow the money does not trickle back down to pay for the people (salaries) who made it. RIDICULOUS. 2K should be ashamed of themselves, they need to fix where the money goes and pay for the people who made them such a fabulous game.

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

If the company is going under what are the chances that the PC version will get canceled before it hits the shelves in stores? I really hope they continue to make sure it gets released on PC because I was planning on getting the PC version. I don't really want to have to play it on my XBox.

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Am I the only one thinking that after all the drama and negative press, the news that they are ONLY 1.4 mil in debt is a lot better news than I expected to hear? LOL I seriously feel bad for those who were there to do their job and make a good product, only to have to be put through such a crappy experience. While they can say that they produced a sucessful product, I doubt it washes away the taste of all the BS and drama they had to endure, as well as the bitter fact that they have to seek work elsewhere now.

Fezzinator101
Fezzinator101

awwwww that sucks i was hoping to see more games from team bondi it really sucks that this had to happen to them.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

Sad, just a good game. Usually bad games Dev. studios close down.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

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Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Something is very wrong when a game that gets almost universal praise and sells well, ends up with the developers going bust

Bowser05
Bowser05

@lmaocarrots Ha I love it when people resort to attacks when they can't accept that people have opinions. Me not liking LA Noire has nothing to do with my taste in games. I spend the majority of my time playing adventure games (I'm talking about The Longest Journey, Heavy Rain...etc), RPGs, MMOs and strategy games...most of which are very very slow-paced. I merely was not happy with LA Noire because I had no reason to be interested in the characters, I thought the questioning mechanics were interesting but extremely flawed, and the game's pacing was atrociously slow. And not in a good way. I fell asleep playing LA Noire and it made me very sad because I was really looking forward to it. You are more than welcome to enjoy the game though. I did not. So to me, it was a terrible game. And me thinking it was terrible does not make me ignorant. If anything your baseless statement was ignorant. Good job.

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

As sad as it is that a lot of people have lost their job, it's still quite fascinating watching this train wreck of a company completly implode. It would make for a good book on how not to run a company.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

All the stuff linked to this game is mental.... The working conditions, how they were treated... and now this? It's mad :|

g4m8l3r
g4m8l3r

I liked LA Noire, it was one of those outside the square kind of games where it would succeed or fail... yeah its not the most action packed shoot em up, cops and robbers type game... but the idea and the delivery of the facial animation was brilliant. The nail biting decisions of truth, doubt and lies made it exciting and really made you think hard. Its a shame though to see the company owing people money who helped make the game. I believed if it had a sequel and improved the free world between missions making it more interesting LA Noire would be a huge hit. What a shame, it was a great game, guess that will never happen now.

gameking5000
gameking5000

I wonder how they're going to pay it all. Are they going to default?

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

@lmaocarrots Careful there chief. There is plenty of reason to call it a terrible game. And being an ignorant player who only likes action based games isn't one of them.

TriumphantToad
TriumphantToad

How did this ever happen with such a successful game?

Rocker6
Rocker6

@Kastigador Well said,but PC exclusives may bring a good profit to companies,if done right.They are cheaper to develop(because we are talking about only one platform,of course),and if dev treats the PC community with respect,sales will be good,and profit will be made.Just look at Crysis and Warhead,they sold on PC much more than Crysis 2 sold on all platforms.Spore was also a sucess(if there wasnt that stupid DRM,sales would be better,though,it was pirated a lot because of it).Also,CDP says PC version of Witcher 2 is a sucess.Stalker series is also considered a sucess.Many PC gamers will gladly buy exclusives,as long as they are done right,and arent filled with some DRM crap.

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

@ Kastigor I think it's simply more likely that they believed that they would make more than enough off the game to cover the expenses they spent making it. It's unfortunate, but intelligent, refined games such as L.A. Noire require intelligent, refined players. And there aren't a lot of those around, quite frankly. Enough certainly to sell an awesome game to and still make quite a lot of money off of, but apparently not enough to invest too much money into a game's development and expect great returns. The market for these kinds of games simply isn't big enough to support that kind of an investment. Too bad, all things considered, as L.A. Noire was an amazing piece of work.

Kastigador
Kastigador

I'm surprised they ended up that much in the hole. Wonder how much Rockstar made from those 4 million units they shipped. Sounds like the investors or high level execs agreed to some seriously bad terms for Team Bondi. No surprise given the explosive employee discontent that surfaced after LA Noire was released. Sounds like classic case of really poor/greedy/idiotic upper management or seriously pushy investors.

Kastigador
Kastigador

@GodGundamNT1 It's a myth regurgitated as an excuse by developers that PC releases are pirated more than their console versions. There's not a single solid metric out there to reliably make that determination. Games on consoles are just just as likely to be pirated as their PC version. The reason developers don't put out anything for PC is because they don't usually sell as well as console versions. There's three theories for this: A) PC vs Console are conflicting platforms from a native UI/control perspective and console ports therefore generally feel/look off B) Gaming PC's truly do require more know-how, upkeep, and upfront investment and as such the participating consumer audience is generally much smaller. C) PC releases require a much more intensive QA/Testing effort for the developers both before and after release because it's a dynamic, multi-use, ever evolving platform. Note, none of those plausible theories are related to piracy being rampant for PC releases. It's just a cop-out for devs/publishers who essentially are wary of publicly admitting to a very small, yet vocal minority of fans that PC releases are a huge pain in the butt to develop and generally don't make much money. Naturally, piracy has always been an ongoing serious concern. It never stops people from making games for the PC though just like "shrink" doesn't stop retailers from putting stuff out on their shelves.

lmaocarrots
lmaocarrots

@Humikimi By terrible do you mean awesome? LA Noire was one of the best games of the year by far, you're probably just too ignorant to have fun on a game that isn't entirely action based.

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

@GodGundamnNT1 No, why do YOU spread such idiotic FUD? I've seen pirated copies of Halo and Gears on the Xbox. I know friends who have them as well. Pirates are pirates, regardless of platform. Console fanboys (note: FANBOYS, not console USERS) have this grand delusion that their platform of choice is God's gift to anti-piracy.

Decessus
Decessus

@voldalin One reason that a company may decide to develop their game for only one platform is due to limited resources. This is probably especially true with the smaller developers. Resources are limited and a developer may decide that shifting some of those resources towards making the game multi-platform would lower the quality of the game itself too much.

Bowser05
Bowser05

I feel bad for them...but that's what happens when you make a terrible game...

akiwak
akiwak

What a crappy way to go..... The dev Team delivers on a AAA title sells millions of copies and yet it is still in debt??? Hope these guys learn from this and are able to move on to other projects that deliver another high caliber game!!!

OmegaAxI
OmegaAxI

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OmegaAxI
OmegaAxI

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jhpeter
jhpeter

@Moloch121, an point and click adventure is the style that all best detective games are, just citing Tex Murphy series in PC and the great CSI games by TellTale games.

Thuganomic05
Thuganomic05

Sorry. I already gave you $60 for a game - not much I can do. If I could only find that 1.4m check lying around here...

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

@voldalin why do you spread such idiotic FUD? Multiplatform games are actually MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to make than single platform games. You have to hire more programmers and testers to make sure the 3d engine and the game runs on all of the platforms. If you make the game on one platform thats it but then its up to the gamers to buy the game but you lose much less money and you gain alot more when there is a huge fanbase for the game like there is for Halo and Gears which are Microsoft games that WILL NEVER BE ON PC for the thieves.

billlabowski
billlabowski

$1.4 in debt so you put the game on PC so we can get you out of debt hahaha. No wonder RDR isn't coming to PC, it sold well on consoles!

Son_of_Bmore
Son_of_Bmore

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

voldalin
voldalin

I never understood why some companies release a game on only 1 console when they could make 2-3 times more money with a multi platform release. But still, if you do the math, they should have been able to pay their debts. Some greedy prick has probably already run his 15 credit cards to the max and used up a good chunck of company money for his own personal use.

vault-boy
vault-boy

How could they be in debt? Didn't they just make 18 gabillzion dollars of their last game?

Moloch121
Moloch121

@jhpeter Really? Detective games or point and click adventure games are much better. I like L.A Noire but there is no hiding how linear it is and how everything you do really doesn't change anything.

jhpeter
jhpeter

Best detective game for consoles , hope there´s a continuation, with another developer, of course.

shantd
shantd

Wow...maybe if they sold 8 million copies, they could've broke even.

shantd
shantd

Wow...maybe if they sold 8 million copies, they could've broke even.

Kazekage20
Kazekage20

It is a pity. They made one of the greatest games of the year and now they are neck deep in debt. Hope they can sort it out without having to shut their doors.

Vangaurdius
Vangaurdius

The facial work as has been stated plenty of times was very impressive. However, being a game it didn't have impressive gameplay. It wasn't broken, but it quickly lost it's charm and became repetitive and predictable. It came across as being very meh but with some positives in the visual department. I have to agree with the general sentiment that this seems to be a case of incompetent people in management (completely shocking, I know).

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

What a shame. Team Bondi makes one of the best games of the year, but then they face legal disputes and are forced to shut down due to debt.

supertom221
supertom221

@crunchb3rry It's not theft. use logic. Piracy is unauthorized sharing of licensed software, often considered illegal, but not theft. Theft is when you take something that's not yours. Piracy is copying and distributing digitalized data. The original copy is still there.... and there... and here...

Unholy123
Unholy123

So look at that all those claims of not getting paid fairly for their work were true after all...

pszone
pszone

Great pp but . Boss of Team Bandi need to ask questions 1 why they leave Rockstar games. 2 why they sold a lot and shutting team bandi down. 3 why pp not getting paid like there desive. I think Manger team bandi not a nice person and let everyone down and ya he did let gataway 3 down. since gataway games where k. I think Manger should get charge with demages . plus i think they sue the manger of this . But know i dont care less about the company there where ones left Rockstar games first place stupid boss . RIP Team Bandi