Team Bondi goes into administration

Control of L.A. Noire developer handed to external firm, according to Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents.

91 Comments

The fate of L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi appears to be all but sealed, with reports that the studio has been placed into administration following last month's rumors that its intellectual property and assets were sold to Sydney-based multimedia production firm Kennedy Miller Mitchell.

According to a SmartCompany report, documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show Riad Tayeh and David Solomons of De Vries Tayeh were appointed as joint administrators of Team Bondi on August 30.

L.A. Noire is the only game in Team Bondi's history. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission records on the studio go back to May of 2003.
L.A. Noire is the only game in Team Bondi's history. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission records on the studio go back to May of 2003.

This news comes after a troubled period for the L.A. Noire developer. Its 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.

At this stage, it is still unknown whether Team Bondi's recent troubles were the direct cause of the company being placed into administration. GameSpot's attempts to contact Team Bondi, KMM, and De Vries Tayeh have been unsuccessful as of publication time.

[UPDATE]: A listing on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission website confirms that Team Bondi Pty. Limited is now "under external administration and/or controlled appointment".

For more on L.A. Noire, check out GameSpot's review.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@strayfies No, its just them not having balls and going to court. If you have a timecard and you clock in all the hours you work, with over time. They MUST pay you for the hours they have worked. If they don't, You are in your full right as a human to take them to court, because they are in fact breaking the law and going against standard labor laws. Why was none of this brought up DURING LA Noire's Development over the last 4-5 years? It may be your dream job, but if you sit idle and let that go down for a few years, you shouldn't let your "dream job" rob you. Thats why there are otherGame Developers to work. They can't NOT hire you because you sued one game company who gave you "terrible working conditions and pay". and if they do, you can claim some form of logical discrimination.

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strayfies

This is a shame. The industry is getting pretty toxic and overcrowded, so when you find a talented upstart, it's usually a cause for hope. @Philly1UPer - believe it. I've worked for places that pull stunts like that, only getting by until someone finally blows the whistle. Litigation can be pricey and harmful to your career, and I bet most video game workers are afraid to rock the boat for their 'dream job'.

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gbrading

It's a shame that in order to make a great game they had to treat their employees so terribly. Glad to see this hasn't affected the development of the PC version of L.A. Noire though (being done by Rockstar).

Avatar image for Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

For some reason I am having an extremely hard time believing no one was payed for Overtime.

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cagivaelefant

I hope Brendan Macnamara goes back to SCE London.Maybe he can produce more games like The Getaway 3.

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orb_03_2006

@GnomeGrown Well, Team Bondi pushed their employees too far. Forcing them to work but loads of over time with no pay for it. That's my understanding. So, the employees were treated very badly.

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keyboard-hero

@shkar If there's ever going to be another sequel of LA Noire at least I hope it doesn't come from Team Bondi. Treating employees like slaves it's not the way to make great games.

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makryu

I really hope this does not mean cancellation of the PC version... but still a company that pushes its employees like this one did deserves this fate.

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shkar

As long as LA Noire sequels(as good as it is if not better) are made I am fine..

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GnomeGrown

I've following this entire story since it first broke. But am I the only one who is still a little confused as to why this is happening? And what exactly does this mean for Team Bondi? If someone could clarify for me, that would be great.

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campbell153

@Sendmn23 EA and Activision... the reason being is that i am sick of the childish and pathetic behaviour between these gaming giants, its about time they just shut up and let other games developers do some work on games! instead all i see is Activision this Activision that.. EA this and EA that! who cares?! both of these companies are guilty of over charging on new titles and both release DLC a week after a title has been launched and will charge you the earth to download and play it! Everyone will soon see the light and not buy the games both EA and Activision make!

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Sendmn23

campbell153 whoa? Really? You want to see a developer go out of business? crazy... to bad fro Team Bondi they crafted a masterpiece with L.A. Noire... not saying that Rockstar had nothing to do with it... but Team bondi did alot of it... its just to bad Team Bondi's management team were so full of themselves, and refused to work with Rockstar's Management...

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jensen13j

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

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StaticKornSlipX

Don't mess with Rockstar, Team Bondi!!

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NeilCardiff

@starduke Administration is a last ditch effort to save a loss making company before it goes bankrupt. When debtors lose all confidence in the current management they can apply to a court for it to be placed in the hands of a 3rd party in order to try and save it. The current directors lose all control until the company either becomes profitable and pays off its debts (it is then returned to the directors control} or fails (it then goes bankrupt and is handed to the vultures.)

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campbell153

There is only 2 games developers i want to see lose money or go bust and the above aint one of them!

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karloss01

@ wwlettsome @ starduke yeah going into administration means their bankrupt. undeserving for the the entire staff except the lead director, from what i've read on games news sites he was a real d*** that had everyone do 120+ hours a week with no overtime bonuses paid and several other malpractice complaints.

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Philly1UPer

granted, Team Bondi did bring this on themselves. Pretty much went out on a public forum and trashed Rockstar and said the working conditions were terrible without any kind of actual proof to back this up. (Out of all of those people complaining, none of those employees had a camera phone to take pictures and videos of the "horrendous" working conditions?)

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Philly1UPer

I loved LA Noire but in my view it suffered from the Mafia II effect. Nice big world with nothing worth exploring. It was very story driven. I don't mind a game where story is the main focus but, it just felt like I was only tied down to the story with nowhere to actually go.

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FoeCrusher

Well this isnt a surprise considering the amount of negative press they have recieved in the last year. Still it is a shame.

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kvan33

Maybe someone else can now pick up the L.A. Noire IP and actually make a game that it should have been in the first place.

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James00715

Sounds like they weren't successful in pitching a new game to publishers. Developers need a lot of money upfront to make a new game. If all the rumors lately about the long development time and poor treatment of employees are real, I could see publishers being hesistent to fund any of their projects.

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starduke

What's it mean, "going into administration"? It sounds bad.

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Frame_Dragger

Wow... this is a terrible shame. It's going to be some time before we know what's true and not given various claims, but for a game that had so much potential (and delivered on some of it)... seeing the dev go this way is sad. Someday we'll look back on LA Noire as the game that pioneered facial mocap, which I think is going to become a rather big deal. Imagine Deus Ex: HR with that kind of animation! Anyway... you want your pioneers to be like iD... to thrive... not this. :(

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firedrakes

yeap its like duke nukem game. gearbox just finish what 3d realms took so long to do. their business practices where illegal

Avatar image for MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Such a shame. While I loved L.A. Noire, I am very willing to admit that it wasn't as great as it could have been. It definitely had the pieces in place to build off of, but I have no doubt all the drama during its development aided in making it less than perfect. Would like to see a sequel. @wars45 I can understand being bored at that point of the game. It kinda does have a lull but it builds back up. I also think you touched on a key issue a lot had with the game. Part of it I think lies with the fact that it's a Rockstar game and we have come to expect a full open world experience whereas this game is probably the most linear game I've ever seen from them in recent years. The fact that after each case you'e thrown into the next automatically doesn't really encourage you to explore, and nor does the fact that even then there is only so much to do.Yeah you have the side missions but they can be too repetitve and show up at the most awkward times (usually as you're at a pivotal point of a case) and the car hunt isn't that appealing to me. Still it's got a good story that's worth playing to the end of.

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Jimbowesker

That sux for them cuz alot of hard work and long hours went into making this game.

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Get_Shorty

Feel guilty now for not finishing game. Don't know if I can go back to slow pace.

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MJ12-Conspiracy

It looks like it's curtains for Team Bondi......

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yasinizawesome

The only reason L.A Noire is a good game is because of rockstar

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SenorChunky

I suppose the cost and consumption of time that the tech' to make this game took didn't help? Nor the dispute with Rockstar? Or it being a solid game, but over-rated due to tech'. Anyway, it's sad, yeah, but it seems they were going to rely on this game to see them through, but that didn't happen.

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wwlettsome

I guess this means they went bankrupt?

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biggumby923

I don't get how people are surprised about this... a company that puts out 1 product in 6 years is never going to stay up unless that product is amazing. LA Noire is a solid release, but they would need at least 2-3 more good releases in that time frame. The only reason that the company continued to exist for so long is so that somebody could capitalize on the work they had already put into the game.

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Bubblegumxxx

Average game play....over rated! Btw "admistration" mean the company going down and SFC is appointing someone to take control of the company to avoid any fault or illegal activities under the administration period....Ie., selling comany assets or moving company assets illegally.

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RighteousNixon

Sorry Darth_Kane but your dead wrong. Rockstar did more than just publish this game. Most of the development was taken on by Team Bondi but Rockstar did provide assistance on multiple aspects of this game including animation. Just watch the credits for the game and you will clearly see that Rockstars involvement with this game went well beyond simply being the publisher.

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wars45

playin la noir at min on 15 case am now so bored of it

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lukmen_96

what the hell

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GeigerdolylWodd

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

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pokecharm

I wonder what Rockstar thinks now about working with Team Bondi, sales were good for the game, but all this other chatter can't be leaving them feeling good...I suppose.

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thiagofali

Some ppl below seem not to know the commercial concept of 'administration'... When a company is winding up for some reason, usually bankruptcy, the courts assign administrators to manage the company and, most importantly, pay all its creditors. Then the company is usually closed... I just cannot understand, the LA Noire game seem to have been so successful.. Maybe mood between shareholders and directors inter se was dire... They decided to cash in and move on...

Avatar image for avenger_20
avenger_20

what goes around comes around what goes up most come down -Eminem from some new song which I forgot the name ohh right it was Above the law I THINK :D

Avatar image for GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

@X-7 Administration? means '"another company is taking over said company and paying off its debts but they can still run their company. Its better than liquidation..."', << LINK REMOVED >> I paraphrased what I found here << LINK REMOVED >>

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nyran125

what goes around comes around. Its come around. Some people get away with murder, im glad that tosser manager from Bondi didnt. I can think of many bosses ive had in the past that deserve the same treatment.

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marco1k1

Its a shame really, I liked L.A. Noire granted a few things did let me down. Fingers crossed the company comes out of this mess.

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spazz212

Australia has a problem when it comes to game studios, there is plenty of talent here just not many triple A studios here, the government needs to help expand this employment sector.

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X-7

What do they mean by "administration"? Do they mean investigation?

Avatar image for M-S-M-S
M-S-M-S

@xiongsy Just read your comment. Good to know the PC version is still on track. Hope to see it soon on Steam. Great news.

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BoabDreeps

Could this have anything to do with a massive sales dip? I don't know anything about that, but what I do know is that LA Noire was the most over-hyped piece of cr@p that I've ever played. You can take the polish to the turd, but you will always have a turd. Surely PC gamers would expect a helluva lot more for their cash than a semi-interactive movie. I'm still astounded by the ratings this 'game' receives. Don't go mental. It's just my opinion.

Avatar image for M-S-M-S
M-S-M-S

So, I guess no PC version after all... I was waiting for this game for a long time. Hope they'll manage to create a new company and continue their great work.

Avatar image for LokiHero
LokiHero

This in no way means the death of big budget games or big budget developers. It's the same stupid argument as saying ebooks are the death of bookstores because Borders closed or that the internet killed electronics stores because Circuit City is no more. Barnes & Noble and Best Buy are still rock solid. What is fair to say, however, is that the gaming industry is becoming more competitive (particularly for developers) and Team Bondi ran a shoddy organisation. Six years and game produced? I don't care how successful that game is, that is not a timescale that justifies their existence. They didn't treat their employees well, they didn't produce on a decent schedule and I would bet they didn't manage their books in a particularly stellar fashion. Sometimes, bad companies go out of business.

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