Whore of the Orient development on hold as staff are laid off - Report

L.A. Noire developer still hoping to find a publisher for its next game.

Staff at L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi are reported to have been laid off after the company's in-development title Whore of the Orient was unable to find a publisher.

Warner Bros., which never officially confirmed its involvement with the title despite its logo appearing on the game's site, backed away from a potential publishing deal "right before last Christmas", reports Superannuation.

Any deal with a new publisher is expected to be signed in April, reported one ex-worker. Development on the game is now said to be on hold.

In a statement given to MCV Pacific, Team Bondi owner KMM's Doug Mitchell said it was still looking to publish the game. "Whore of the Orient is a unique and extraordinary story and game, and we are still actively pursuing the right investor to partner with."

Whore of the Orient was announced in late 2011, with KMM Interactive posting job listings at the time suggesting the game would be released for PC and next-generation consoles in 2015.

Team Bondi said Whore of the Orient would revolve around Shanghai in 1936, described as the "most corrupt and decadent city on the planet." Most details about the game are still unknown, but the story would revolve around Kuomintang forces working to suppress the spread of communism, while a group of Western police officials try to keep the peace.

After the release of L.A. Noire, Sydney-based production company KMM bought the assets and intellectual property rights to Team Bondi's work. Some members of the team were reported to have been shifted to movie projects, such as Happy Feet 2.

The rights to L.A. Noire remain with Rockstar Games.

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Discussion

83 comments
LE5LO
LE5LO

Your comment will be 'pending' if you post the word 'whoré' in plain english on this article, even if it's in context. No irony there? lol

videogamer008
videogamer008

yeah you are right guys.... LA Noire is an awesome game but what is the next game... i hope they can find someone... i really want another game just like LA Noire.... Rockstar, i love you guys...

Apastron
Apastron

This is where originality gets you in the games industry these days, and it's all our fault.

Justforvisit
Justforvisit

Good, maybe they have some time to change the title then.

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

gutted, really looking forward to this...and prey 2

Musharasur
Musharasur

I do not blame publishers for being reluctant to associate themselves in any way with that Brendan NcNamara guy.

JusXice
JusXice

what sup with that title lol

acelogan1989
acelogan1989

poor management that what makes this company hard to find a publisher

jcopp72
jcopp72

I hope they find a Publisher soon, this game looks really interesting.

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

Damn, that sounds like an interesting game. And a nice title (I'm guessing it wouldn't be on a Nintendo). Would have been nice to see what the L..A. Noire guys (and presumably gals) did with this.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I hope development continues and that they can find a publisher. I really enjoyed L.A. Noire, so I'm interested in seeing what Team Bondi can do again.

bowlingotter
bowlingotter

This is what happens when you treat your first publisher like crap.

MeestaPleasta
MeestaPleasta

I'm not surprised by Team Bondi not being able to find a publisher. Rockstar said working with them was one of the worst experiences they ever had and would never, ever publish their games again.

PS2fweak
PS2fweak

I wonder if the title held them back?

hugoadan
hugoadan

what a shame... i'd buy this game only for the title, hahaa!

GotBanFromGS
GotBanFromGS

To think this was one of the first glimps of next gen rumors ...now we have seen PS4 games and still nothing on this. Its sad..

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

There's going to be some curse with this studio, might as well shut it down.

firedrakes
firedrakes

love the idea but would never trust team bondi with my money to dev it

sexyeyes79
sexyeyes79

I wish there were games just for mature adults that can handle themes that are based on real places and time periods.  Instead we have children think its a sex game because of the name and it gets bad press.  Please go read about Shànghǎi in the early 1900's before you think its just about sex.  Real history can be very enlightening, entertaining, and educational, not the censored PC shit being shoved down everyone's throats.

Hopefully a publisher with enough balls will see this game finished.

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

I was hoping this game would revolve around hot Asian hookers, but it sounds pretty awesome as it is. Somebody please publish this game!

firehawk998
firehawk998

Hmm maybe Capcom should publish the game. They would fit right in XD XD XD

kayos539
kayos539

Kickstart the shit out of this!!!

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

This game seems interesting, I might check this one out when it comes out.

kohle36
kohle36

Interesting setting, depends wholly what they do with it

King9999
King9999

I'm just surprised Team Bondi still exists after the s***storm surrounding it.

kagento
kagento

Hate to say it, but despite the moderate success of L.A. Noire, Team Bondi has been riddled with inside problems and controversies. I can only understand why publishers are cautious.

AlexFili
AlexFili

Always tricky when you have such a complex and large-scale game company, when things go wrong they go very wrong.

chuchupika
chuchupika

@abhisheknerdy20 Agreed.  Since Rockstar and 2k games etc are possibly willing to jump on this type of game.  They make good money from these type of games.  The title seem pretty offensive, maybe reason why new developer/publishers are not jumping on board.  Also, maybe they are not happy with Noire's sale numbers.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@PS2fweak I was just about to say. Maybe a better title. Are they being stubborn about it? It would get so much attention. So, maybe it is a good name? I don't know.

psycho75
psycho75

whatever they do i hope they don't change the name. That's one friggin' amazing name for a game!

MeestaPleasta
MeestaPleasta

@abhisheknerdy20 @MeestaPleasta

L.A. Noire was on the fast track to being canceled due to not enough $$ with an incomplete game. Its had a 7 year development cycle and was in deep trouble without a hefty publisher to rescue them. R* obliged and stepped in to publish and market the game.

A former employee of Team Bondi had this to say,(anonymously)

"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. At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc.[34] 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."

Besides, lets be honest. L.A. Noire wouldn't have sold nearly as many copies is there wasn't that yellow R* on the front...