Mad Max director buys rights to ex-L.A. Noire dev's new project

George Miller picks up Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara's next game, Whore of the Orient, and calls for more government support for Australian game developers.

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In August this year, it was reported that Australian L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi sold its intellectual property and assets to Sydney-based multimedia production firm Kennedy Miller Mitchell after employee complaints about abusive working conditions and credits omissions drew the attention of the International Game Developers Association. At the time, it was revealed all Team Bondi employees were given the choice of moving to work at Kennedy Miller Mitchell or accepting a severance package.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell is a film production company cofounded by Mad Max director George Miller and producing partner Doug Mitchell. Its recent projects include Happy Feet 2 and preproduction for Mad Max: Fury Road. The company's game-making arm, KMM Games, produced the game adaptation of Happy Feet 2.

L.A. Noire is the only game in Team Bondi's six-year history.

Now, in an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Miller and Mitchell have revealed KMM has acquired the rights to Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara's next game, titled Whore of the Orient.

Earlier this month, McNamara told Eurogamer that he was working on a new game, describing it as "one of the great untold stories of the 20th century."

In the AFR interview, Miller and Mitchell revealed that former Team Bondi staff took up positions at KMM and immediately began work on Happy Feet 2 and that the company also employed members of the now-closed Australian studio Krome. Mitchell used this point to highlight the need for more reasonable tax incentives for local video game developers, saying he would like to make both the game version of Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as McNamara's Whore of the Orient in Australia if the Australian government would extend the 40 percent producer tax rebate introduced in 2007 to video game development. Currently, the rebate allows for big-budget film projects to be made locally and is responsible for securing KMM's Happy Feet 2 and Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.

"With the government's support, we can immediately go forward with two games," Mitchell said in the article. "Warner Bros. is standing by, willing to do Fury Road; the incentive would bring it back here in a New York minute. It's not immediately obvious, but the potential in the video games sector is massive. Just from the statistics people are showing me, it's a $60 billion industry fast-tracking toward $90 billion. And it's not dominated by any particular country."

"There are technologies they have to develop in games because things need to happen more quickly in a game," Miller told the AFR. "Those are going to speed up digital filmmaking and television way more because they're obliged to do it if they want things to look as real as possible and happen in real time. And that's really pushing things, so that instead of years to make an animation film, that time could collapse."

According to Startupsmart.com.au, Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean will make the case for an extension of the producer tax rebate to game development as part of the expenditure review committee process before the next federal budget.

Crean visited Miller and Mitchell's studio, where Miller himself outlined the benefits of investing in the global game development industry.

"Until I went to George Miller's studios...I hadn't understood the extension of the film industry to the game industry," Crean told the AFR. "I think there's a strong case for it; it's a logical extension to what we've already proved our worth at and the international market already values."

Earlier this month, industry body Screen Australia increased its push to lobby the federal government for more support in the local game development industry with the release of a discussion paper. The discussion paper can be viewed and downloaded in full via the Screen Australia website.

Discussion

26 comments
ooblah
ooblah

@karenwen You can't really be sure if they're literally describing a "whore" or if the title is symbolic, analogic, or an allegory.

karenwen
karenwen

Women's rights groups are going to try to get Whore Of The Orient banned before it's even released in whichever jurisdiction. This will probably have the effect of making knowledge of the game more widespread.

Ni6htSorrow
Ni6htSorrow

@Klebitz01: Maybe because of the fact that it is rich in natural resources, not to mention beautiful and it is desired to be colonized by other countries before. Honestly, I'm not sure either, however, if you found out the real meaning why, let me know too.

deviant74
deviant74

I heard Happy Feet 2 only made 43 million of a 125 spent. And they had to fire 600 people and they are about to go belly up.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Interesting... Miller's a cool dude, hopefully this works out.

joce667
joce667

@mercutio665 Hahaha there is nothing more i want to say , it was just a good way to burn someone .

mercutio665
mercutio665

@pszone Out of all the things I could say in response to you, I'm going to go with "punctuate". And then "spellcheck". When you've got your head wrapped around those come back and we'll get in to more detail.

pszone
pszone

Dont care i hope Team Bamdi Suffer what they did not pying there staff. plus person did mad max dont nothing about games so this game going to suffer and ya its worst tile for a game.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Not sure how that title is going to rated let alone sold in most major retailers...

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Whore of the Orient...heh, awesome title.

Klebitz01
Klebitz01

@Ni6htSorrow please enlighten me why is the Philippines called Pearl of the Orient

vivalatour
vivalatour

How much for the little one in the corner ?

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

At least they are working on a new game....and hopefully it won't take them 6 years to finish it :P...ahahha Whore of the Orient

hyksiu
hyksiu

Now that sounds interesting!

Ni6htSorrow
Ni6htSorrow

Pearl of the Orient is the nickname of the Philippines. That is, if they change the name from "Whore" to "Pearl". However, I would like to see a sandbox game set in the Philippines during the Spanish occupation, or a Chinese setting that is different from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

PandaTrueno86
PandaTrueno86

10 bucks says they'll switch the word "Whore" to "Pearl". Also, something tells me this game will take place in Shanghai. I need to dig deeper into this name... P.S. Do some research on the name...It's quite interesting.

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

loled at the name of the game for reall now how many people are gona buy a a prodact or something called whore? lots of people and media will pick on it to death.

Granpire
Granpire

@termadoyle The ESRB? I'd worry about the Australian Classification Board...

Rocker6
Rocker6

@termadoyle If their game is intended for more mature audiences like L.A Noire was,I doubt there will be any problems...

termadoyle
termadoyle

good luck with the ESRB if you want to call your game Whore of the Orient.

Ultimate39
Ultimate39

Why do they always use the same picture for LA Noire articles?

Rocker6
Rocker6

Whore of The Orient? Hmm,sounds interesting,and not because of the "whore" part :P I don't remember playing any good game with Orient as a setting for quite some time now.Its a fascinating place,filled with a lot of potential,that needs to be explored,Im getting tired of grey American cities and Middle-Eastern deserts in mainstream titles...

chaosbrigade
chaosbrigade

 @AuronAXE The game sounds awfully like a video game adaptation of the movie Lust Caution. Look up the plot synopsis of Lust Caution on wikipedia, and better yet, watch it, it's actually a very good movie, but the ending was anti-dramatic and disappointing.

chaosbrigade
chaosbrigade

 @Ni6htSorrow The game sounds awfully like a video game adaptation of the movie Lust Caution. Look up the plot synopsis of Lust Caution on wikipedia, and better yet, watch it, it's actually a very good movie, but the ending was anti-dramatic and disappointing. 

chaosbrigade
chaosbrigade

@PandaTrueno86

The game sounds awfully like a video game adaptation of the movie Lust Caution. Look up the plot synopsis of Lust Caution on wikipedia, and better yet, watch it, it's actually a very good movie, but the ending was anti-dramatic and disappointing.

 

Ni6htSorrow
Ni6htSorrow

 @chaosbrigade  @Ni6htSorrow I watched the movie already. I felt sad that they didn't managed to finish the task of assassinating the collaborator to the Japanese. Good movie, imo, and the sex scenes aren't bad either.