L.A. Noire Studio Owes $1 Million To Employees

Team Bondi, the Sydney studio that saved the worst year of its existence for the one in which it finally delivered L.A. Noire, owes its employees more than $US1 million, according to papers filed in the studio's liquidation.

It's a fitting epitaph for an outfit slagged for shady employment practices and insider sniping that the Bondi boss was something of an insufferable martinet. That guy, Brendan McNamara, has the largest claim on unpaid compensation, actually, coming in over $US100,000. His other company, Depth Analysis, which created the animation technology that set L.A. Noire apart, is owed more than $US140,000.

The studio is being liquidated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the proceeds will go to pay outstanding claims held by McNamara, employees and other creditors.

Team Bondi, founded in 2003, released one game.

Team Bondi Owes Its Employees Over $US1 Million [Game Informer]


    I don't exactly like the way this article is written. Oh well.

    Maybe Serrels will do a nice long article with a bit (a lot) more insight. Or maybe he already has and I missed it.

      Search in the tag 'Team Bondi', Kotaku had quite a bit of coverage when the allegations about McNamara first surfaced and also again when the studio was shut down.

      Although there's not much on this new information about employees being owed money, I don't think.

        Thanks, I'll look it up.

      I agree, poorly worded article. How is it a fitting epitaph for employees to be owed entitlements? Even if the boss' claim is 10% of that, there's another 90% owed to "regular" employees. Shame on you Owen.


    I can't help but feel for this entire company. I mean this was it, Australia's first shot at an actual game with real importance and now look. It sucks that the employees may not see their entitlements for years and that Australia has lost a AAA developer, something we have NEVER had... ever.

      What about 2K marin? They're an australian AAA studio. I feel for the employees of team bondi but McNamara is the scum of the earth from what I've read

    So they were around since 2003 and released one horrible game that played itself?

    Woo Australian gaming!

    and the government paid this studio how much?

      Most likely $0

        Exactly zero. NSW government is more interested in funding crappy movies than funding game development.

    Way to screw up the industry for everyone else, Team Bondi.

      On the contrary. Team Bondi was going to be Australia's breakthrough. Our final plunge into the beginning of AAA titles and studios... and then they put McNamara in charge, and he worked his team into the ground and abused people as a general rule of thumb.
      So now Rockstar has pulled out of Australia and dashed any hopes of their building anything here ever again, which has in turn dissuaded pretty much every other company from doing so, too.
      I might be slightly biased, but I suppose that's what happens when you're told, the morning after the announcement during a Uni lecture, that one man has crushed your hopes and dreams of working in the industry in this country.

        From a couple of people I know who worked on this project, I've heard exactly the same things. That working under McNamara was a horror story, there was high turn-over rate and just them being treated like garbage.

        Which is a real shame, because LA Noire is a good game, and the first real AAA title from an Australian dev in a long time. It could have ushered in more Aussie development, but no.

      Point taken folks.

      Way to screw up the industry for everyone else, McNamara.

      My sincere apologies to TB.

    Good luck with that $100,000 claim, directors are excluded employees and max out on $3,500 in liquidations.
    The other employees should get their entitlements via the governments GEERS scheme.
    Btw kotaku, if you're interested, check for for a company RATA. I think this is due in a month from appointment (5th oct) and is a report from the director listing all assets (and their approx value) and liabilities. This will be a public document available to anyone knowing how to find it.

      A lot of it might be owed for his role in the other company - debts are usually paid before employee entitlements.

    One game? Didn't they do a transformers one a while back for the ps2?

    At any rate, it would be really nice for a another krome to happen. I won't pretend to understand the economics very well(I'm starting to think nobody does tbh..) but it seems like an Aussie company, owned by Aussies, that doesn't work in USD would be financially stable. Maybe not AAA level, but lets be honest, all the good stuff is coming out of indies these days.

      No that Transformers game was made by Melbourne House which was above A.I.E. in Melbourne. I think they became a branch of Krome before that all blew up and now I have no idea what happened to them.

    :( I feel sorry for those guys, Australia is never going to have a decent shot at an actual game for a long time.

    Someone better start up a new company and fast because I don't like that Australia's "biggest" made title was L.A. Noir: "Tap X to Jason part 2"

      I'm not sure you could level a worse insult to Heavy Rain.

      LA Noire was a terrible mess. Three different deeply flawed game mechanics all orbiting around a poorly executed story. It had no singular vision of what it was attempting to be, and its muddled design was both a symptom and a cause of its insanely long and costly development. The problem IS that no one person is responsible. I'm glad that all the great talent locked up in Team Bondi has been freed to hopefully work on future projects in Australia without the overhead of Team Bondi's direction (or lack of).

    It's sad for the industry that an aussie developer finally gets critical and commercial success, but it's not bad luck or tragic circumstances that dealt the company a bad hand. Team Bondi was badly managed. Its employees (at least some of them) were miserable and overworked. The fact that the head of the studio was the most underpaid tells me just how badly things were managed, by him and probably others.

    I am surprised that given the damage this whole affair has done to the reputation of aussie game developers, that we (ie. some type of australian govt/regulatory body) doesn't think it's worthwhile investigating what's happened, and the lack of coverage in mainstream media.

    I remember reading that juniors got paid a crap wage so $1M of pay owed shows how many people must of been owed not withstanding Brendon's cut.

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