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.

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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.

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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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