Team Bondi Goes Into Administration

Sydney-based game development studio, Team Bondi, is no stranger to bumpy roads. Having switched publishers, spent seven years developing a game, and then being accused of providing poor working conditions, the bumpy road is about to come to an end... because the company has gone into administration.

According to an updated listing on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Team Bondi went into external administration on August 30, with two administrators being assigned to wind up the company.

Rumours had been circling for months that Team Bondi were selling their assets to George Miller's studio, KMM, but neither KMM nor Team Bondi would speak on the issue.

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Sydney video game studio Team Bondi in administration [Smart Company]


Comments

    karma

    That's sad. As terrible as the conditions may have been, they produced some really outstanding stuff, especially with the facial animation techonology. What's even more depressing is that this was supposed one of the few AAA titles this year to come out of Australia (the other being de Blob 2). And now they're both beached. I wish everyone (bar the people responsible for the crappy work conditions) the best.

    *sigh*

    So Australia is back to having no large developers in it's most major and populated city. Great.

    Its pretty bad when EA/Activision/Zynga isn't buying you out.

    Sad day for the industry in Australia

    Where's the attribution to the original story elsewhere?

      Thanks for pointing this out -- two people were editing this story (Elly was inserting hyperlinks while I was writing) and one save over-wrote the one with the attribution. :) Fixed now!

    I'm sorry to hear that many talented people at TB will soon be looking for work. I'm also saddened that yet another Aussie studio is coming to a close.

    On the other hand, I think this is a good lesson for a certain management figure. Treat your employees poorly enough and your name becomes poison in the industry. Bad luck, old chap. Maybe next time you will treat your staff with some dignity and respect.

      Like all things business, shit rolls downhill. McNamara will either be dandy, or he will bounce back quickly.

      The only people losing here are the employees that worked horrible hours and the people who want Australia to have a AAA game developer that is more than a flash in the pan.

      Or I could just be incredibly bitter...

    Wasn't this outift purchased by the same company doing Mad Max?

      It was bought by director George Miller's company, yes, but he made the Mad Max films decades ago. More recently he's been known for films like Happy Feet, and it doesn't surprise me at all that he bought Team Bondi for their tech, not to get into game development.

        Actually there have been rumours for a while that Dr D, Millers CG effects house, are looking at getting into games development. This more or less confirms it.

        For what it's worth Millers other studio is working on a new Mad Max film too.

          KMM (Dr. D's old name) is actually making the Happy Feet 2 game out of Krome's old building in Queensland (with a team made up of largely ex-Krome staffers).

    BM should not be in business. I for one (as an animator working in sydney, just up the road from TB headquarters to be exact) am happy these people cant pull anymore bright minds straight from college and drive them into the group with horrendous hours and conditions.

    LA Noire was indeed awesome but this just paves the way for better companies to take TB's place.

    the Bondi crew will all find work if they stick at it. build it and they will come.

      Macnamarra should not be in business because he wrote LA Noire and it was terrible. You spent the entirety of the homicide desk putting away people you knew were innocent, and the main character said this at every turn!

    drive them into the ground*

    To quote Van Darkholme from nico nico douga meme "Take it boy!"

    I'd not heard of these guys until L.A. Noire. When it came out, I noticed that it was an Aussie company, and so I'd thought that we'd have a company of our own that made quality games.

    This is a damn shame, in my honest opinion.

    All the best to all the staff at TB, this is another sad moment for the aussie game industry, and I'm sure the tallent from TB won't go to waste.

    Well as a developer that is now unemployed due to the recent madness in the Australian games industry I must add that this is all a little sad. There seems to be a lot of press about how the industry is changing and pressure to create smaller IOS developers, but that market is already saturated to death and most want you to work for tuppence. What Australia needs is some studios with some balls, good management, good business experience and most of all a clear vision and design route. There is plenty of talent in this country to make awesome AAA games but it's all going to be shipped to Canada.

    So... What company is left/ I know EA, Firemint and Big Ant are still going in Melb.

    Though from the sound of it, the writing was already all over the wall for this company.

      That should've been a "?" instead of "/"

      Zzzz, need some more caffeine -.-

      In Melbourne Tantalus and Torus are still limping along in some capacity. I think Firemint still exist although they're now under EA's umbrella as are Iron Monkey. There's also another sizable startup that I've forgotten the name of along with a bunch of smaller ones who're probably mostly doing social and mobile stuff.

      In Brisbane there's Half-Brick and Creative Assembly and... I'm sure there's at least one other larger one.

      Irrational/2k Australia/2k Marin/Whatever the hell they're called nowadays are still doing their XCom thing in Canbera.

      Industry isn't quite dead here yet, but it might be given another year or two if something doesn't change for the better. Given the way the US dollar is likely to go in the near future I suspect things will get worse before we see any improvement.

    I just wanna look at the high-view for a second:

    Devloper builds game > Game sells ridiculously well > Publisher makes lots of money > Developer goes into administration

    ....WHAT THE F*CK?

      Allow me to rephrase that:

      Devloper builds game > Game sells ridiculously well > Publisher makes lots of money > Developer gets swamped by controversy and the project lead is portrayed as the Devil > Developer goes into administration

        You probably should slot a "developer blows both time and finance budgets>pisses off publisher>loses publisher>get's picked up by another publisher>pisses off that publisher too" somewhere along the line.

        Do we know that LA Noire made any money? It sold a lot of units but it was also a phenomenally expensive game to develop.

      The piece of the puzzle you're missing is where they switched publishers and by all appearances repeatedly missed their deadlines. It's likely they had to sign away much of their potential royalties just to convince the publisher to keep financing it.

    I read the original document and had a laugh when at the end of the news article was this beauty:

    ------------------------
    Related Items :

    -THE LIGHTER SIDE: Team bonding with your staff
    ------------------------

    Yeah, good one :p

    Well it's good to see all the troubles over at Team Bondi worked out.

    Oh wait.

    Sounds like Team Bondi were on the asx, I never saw it, but if I was an investor I'd be pissed since the company's equipment, data/research and projects in the pipeline have been 'passed' on to another company, through which you will never receive benefit when those entities bear fruit.

    Real disappointing. Canada's proven that a sparsely populated country with a moderate economy can be a powerhouse in games with great studios like Eidos Montreal, BioWare, Relic etc.

    It frustrates me that our own dev scene can never gain the critical mass where we can make AAA games again.

    Australia just isn't set up for game developers, at least not the big studios anyway. It's a bit of shame, as culturally it's probably one of the most creative countries out there, but it's the same old story with music, movies, theatre, gaming etc... the big players are all European & US based companies interested in flogging their own cultural wares and not interested in backing local talent. Getting creative enterprises up and running in Australia is like moving heaven & earth with virtually no backing from big companies or the government and if you actually make something happen then you're left to deal with tall poppy syndrome type of people. Is it any wonder there's no confidence in these areas? If there's very little in the way of cultural production, Australia may as well start call it self another US suburb...

    + it's a bit of surprise about the working conditions being brought up, most programmers / game developers work ridiculous long hours to get projects done, but that is by their own choice usually, I wonder if that was the case?

      I agree, the Aussie governement needs to start supporting the Aussie game dev industry.
      In the past Aussie games studios (the ones makeing AAA titles at least) have been funded by overseas studios and publishers. But with the strength of the aussie dollar, this is no longer a cost effective option for a lot of over seas studios.
      Without some support from the Aussie Government there simply wont be any Australian games industry to speak of, the tallented game artists, programers and designers will be forced to move overseas to look for work.

      If only the Aussie government would step in and help keep the Australian games industry alive.

        "If only the Aussie government would step in and help keep the Australian games industry alive."

        They will only do that if they see that it can benifit their own personal interests, a.k.a. their own pockets.

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