L.A. Noire dev moves to shut down

Documents filed with Australian Securities and Investments Commission today foretell studio's imminent closure.

146 Comments

Despite a glowing critical reception and chart-topping sales for Team Bondi's period crime sleuther L.A. Noire, the weeks and months following the game's May release have been fraught with uncertainty about the developer's future.

Perhaps forensics could figure out what killed Team Bondi.
Perhaps forensics could figure out what killed Team Bondi.

Most recently, Team Bondi was placed into administration, with control handed off to a separate entity. Now, according to official Australian government documents, the studio's total closure is imminent.

Multiple documents regarding Team Bondi have been filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission today, including one appointing a liquidator to the studio. A "special resolution to wind up company" was also filed today with the government agency.

Team Bondi's reputation was tarnished earlier this year when employee complaints about working conditions and credits omissions drew the attention of the International Game Developers Association. At the time, one of Team Bondi's senior-most developers said the studio would learn from its mistakes.

Despite the closure of Team Bondi, a PC iteration of L.A. Noire is due out on November 8. However, the game is being ported over by Rockstar Leeds.

Take-Two Interactive owns the rights to the L.A. Noire intellectual property, meaning the franchise could survive its original studio's demise. The game has already shipped 4 million units for Take-Two.

L.A. Noire follows Cole Phelps, a detective entangled in a violent web of vice, corruption, and crime in 1947 Los Angeles. Players jump into the seedy underworld of the metropolis and are tasked with solving a series of murders and other criminal offenses, ranging from arson and drug trafficking to racketeering.

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DireBadger

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I didnt play LA Noir, but I heard it was pretty good. Too bad Team Bondi wont have a chance to show us what they can really do. Why cant this happen to someone who deserves it, like Silicon Knights?

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Vambran

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So this CEO runs his company into the ground even though they made a profit and got good reviews. This guy related to John Romero? Sounds like they would have been better off with Forest Gump as a boss.

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Evenios

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oh i thought the game was made by rockstar...heh good to know. this game was OK but it did not feel as open as GTA you had a large city sure but other then your mission cases there wasnt a whole lot to do. It was ok but i agree that it was a bit overrated.

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spoonybard-hahs

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@ Rottenwood I seriously hope you're not referring to Take-Two. They had nothing to do with Team Bondi's failings (however, I can't imagine that no one from 2K or Rockstar didn't swing by to ensure things were running smoothly). L.A. Noire was in development for seven years, and it's the only game Team Bondi developed. Quite honestly, it should be a surprise that the game ever made it out of that hell hole at all. << LINK REMOVED >>

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hush404

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Hopefully this shows other studios that they mistreat their employees.

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oflow

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@Kickable Thats becuz all the praise this game received is unwarranted. This game was extremely overrated, and the supposed ground-breaking content is almost non-existent. The reason I say this is because I played the game to completion and you can finish the game getting 100% of the interrogation questions wrong, yet still solve all the cases. The game was a like a half-assed Heavy Rain (which *was* ground breaking but had too much tedious time wasting) combined with GTA but without the fun. The only thing I actually found good about the game was being from LA the street maps are accurate. I have a feeling part of the infighting going on between this studio and Rockstar is based on this issue mainly. That this game is severely overrated and really doesnt perform how its supposed to.

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ceainic_1

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I fell sorry for Team Bondi but hopefully Take-Two and especially Rockstar Games will bring us sometime in the future a LA Noire sequel,let's face it we all want this !

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Jaga_Telesin

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Hopefully they won't just "wrap up and write off" the company. Someone needs to be accountable for the wrongs done there, and be sent packing to jail.

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InfamousPhilthy

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RIP Team Bondi

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alexLmx6

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@Spacerac - People working on the game would've been salaried or paid hourly, regular developers don't (usually) get royalties from game sales.

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MJ12-Conspiracy

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When Rockstar said they were severing ties with Team Bondi I kinda knew this would happen. Even though they made a really good game and a good first game the way they were operating behind the scenes was unacceptable. If they had just said "hey the game is taking longer than expected because of some new tech we are developing" I think they could have gotten away with an extra year......

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alexLmx6

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@Llama345 - EA was sued back in 2004 and had to pay out tens of millions in settlements. It also brought about some changes to how much time people were being forced to work but crunch time does still exist.

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unreal_master

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Good bye

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Llama345

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Even though Diablo 3 has taken forever, I'm sure the people there STILL enjoy working on it because they dont have to work 90 hours a week. Pushing people to an extreme cant be helpful for anything. I'm surprised there is no one suing over any of these problems.

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angelbless

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Thats a Shame ....:(

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bandarman

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It was a good game, but yes it was boring. I would've enjoyed it more if it was an interactive movie. But anyways, its sad to hear that such a talented studio got shut down. I remember that during the credits I kept thinking about these news stories and about all the overworked employees. :P

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dg3215

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I know a lot of people like this game, but I found it to be possibly one of the most boring games I have ever played. That is all.

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deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

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Great job on a great game. Welcome to the club of the overworked and under paid. At least ya got some press time for your plight. The rest of us just deal with it. After many years, you do learn to deal with it, as it could always be worse.

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deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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oh god, for a minute there I thought this meant no PC version after all. my selfishness aside, it's pretty mind-blowing that this kinda stuff happened on a game that was so universally praised. hell the game was pretty groundbreaking in a few departments. how do you treat employees like this when they are obviously a cut above the rest of the industry. then again this kind of slavedriving could be a deciding factor in how good the product is lol

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Spacerac

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So the question is, how do the devs get paid off purchases of this game now? I have no idea how this stuff works.

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Rottenwood

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"Thanks for the game, guys! Door is that way."

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leikeylosh

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I hope all these talented fellows find job in another developer and make another great game. Best of luck to all of you.

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vicsrealms

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The game is being "ported" over to the PC November 8th? Definitely, will not be a pre-order or day one for me then. I'll play the wait and see game.

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el3m2tigre

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That's a damn shame. L.A. was a fantastic game.

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mercutio665

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@ manicwagon It's not about the pay, man. Time off is important. I work for a AAA dev team, and 90 hour work weeks are not conducive to anything... they hurt projects more than they help them. These people need time off to decompress and see their families, but when your team is in perpetual "crunch-time" it makes all of that impossible and totally destroys morale.

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piyush18

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Just let the pc version coming....

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spoonybard-hahs

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@ sleepnsurf I just have to ask, what gave you that impression? @ trancedanne << LINK REMOVED >>

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Prometheus

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Something must have gone seriously wrong in management if a talented and successful team is shut down.

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manicwagon

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This is shameful, these people worked overtime and got paid for it, they weren't chained to their desks, they were making double time and over-time for months on end - they should be so lucky! LA Noire is a jewel, and now these greedy wimps had to ruin the chances of seeing something like it soon, or ever again.

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sleepnsurf

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La Noir is the first Rockstar game I passed on. Still have no interest. I like to play my games not watch them play themselves.

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prostar343

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Damn, hopefully the employees find work quickly. Guess a case of good game, horrible management.

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trancedanne

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I will download the torrent in November to honor the studio!

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redskinStu

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Other devs would be wise to scoop these talented folks up...quick.

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deathTHEkidd

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I really think they would have made it if they just weathered the storm. They didn't close for financial issuses thats a fact.

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JokerPRO10

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best of luck to the peoples who worked in the Studio :)

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SaintForHire

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It's sad that the company is closing, especially after such a successful game. Hopefully they all find success elsewhere.

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Carlos161

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It's bad if they loose their jobs. I'll play their work in PC hopefully

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Avatar image for Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

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This is sad, I really enjoyed LA Noire

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pelvist

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THen you should never have put all your eggs in one basket. Yet another console centric developer bites the dust, how many is that this year then?

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mickey_mickey48

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That's bad! i really wanted to see other titles from those people. LA Noire was really awesome and different.

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Tripwolf

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Some talented people there. I'm sure they'll land on their feet.

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adis_knight

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So sad to see a studio this good getting closed...but they will learn from their mistakes. =)

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Bobzfamily

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This is really a shame as a studio deserves to draw some success in for itself when the game garners some commercial winnings. Despite the whole situation with the working conditions and whatnot I really wish they had found a way to keep Team Bondi open.

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The_Gaming_Baby

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Rest in Peace.

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Rocker6

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Ah,well,not a suprise.The problems they had seemed huge.Its still sad to see a studio closed :(

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jcbullen

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That's a bummer, but it does sound like there were some messed up work situations. Even if someone is really passionate about the work that they do, it's still never good to overwork. That's a good way to burn yourself out quick.

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