It has been clear the development of L.A. Noire was troubled, with the International Game Developers Association recently describing reports of working conditions at Team Bondi, the Australian studio behind the game, as "absolutely unacceptable." Emails revealed to trade site GamesIndustry.biz have laid bare more troubles at the house responsible for creating one of the highest profile games ever to come out of the antipodean nation.
"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," an unnamed source said to GI.biz. "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 leaked emails detail the mutual frustrations senior management had with studio head Brendan McNamara. One missive from the Team Bondi head details his anger over Team Bondi branding being left off L.A. Noire promotional material, saying "I'll never forget being treated like an absolute **** by these people." The emails also back up the complaints with working conditions that had been previously reported, with seven-day weeks of 12-hour days being standard in early 2009, more than two years before the game's eventual release.
L.A. Noire was first announced in 2004, and was initially rumored to be a Sony exclusive; Rockstar snapped up the title in 2006. Speaking at the time, McNamara said, "The longstanding mutual respect and the combined experience between the two of us make this a great partnership."
As of press time, Rockstar had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment.