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Rumour: Team Bondi Staff Sacked, Whore of the Orient On Hold

To the Thunderdome!

Team Bondi, the Sydney-based studio that made LA Noire, is in a fresh round of trouble. There are new reports of staff layoffs and their big project is apparently on hold. Just before Christmas, it was reported that Warner Bros had pulled out of an as-yet-unannounced publishing deal with the studio for its next game: Whore of the Orient.

The studio is owned by Kennedy Miller Mitchell (KMM), a TV and movie studio that holds rights to Mad Max and is part owned by that film’s director, George Mitchell. KMM bought up Team Bondi and its remaining assets during the period in which they went into administration in the middle of 2011, after the launch of LA Noire.

It seems that the studio’s working relationship had soured with Rockstar (LA Noire publishers) and there were plenty of disgruntled ex-employees who commented and blogged about Team Bondi’s poor working conditions at that time. The KMM deal and their announcement of Whore of the Orient (complete with concept art bearing the WB logo) looked like a potential turnaround for the studio.

Now fresh reports are coming out of Sydney (via MCV and picked up by Eurogamer and CVG) that the studio is laying off staff again. Further to that, it’s being reported that Whore of the Orient is now on hold.

KMM has told MCVPacific that they’re still shopping around for an investor to help them complete work on Whore of the Orient, which Team Bondi boss Brendan MacNamara has previously said would be “one of the great untold stories of the twentieth century.”

8 Comments
  1. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Well that’s a game that will never see the light of day then.

    Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 10:53.
  2. Klart
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    Dammit! I want my whore!

    Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 11:19.
  3. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    There are oodles of British dev-teams that could pick this up and continue the work. Saying that, I’m not sure Grimsby Slapper will sell as many copies.

    Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 11:37.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      I don’t know, obviously, but it really looks like Team Bondi are incredibly difficult to work with. Rockstar gave them loads of time and plenty of freedom with LA Noire and they still fell out over it. Workers have criticised them, Warner dumped the publishing deal (allegedly) and now it looks like KMM (who don’t seem to have a stirling reputation themselves, btw) have had enough of them.

      Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 12:42.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        I wonder if they’re considered a very lazy and unproductive team to work with. If we look at Australia’s work force, it’s often perceived as that. It’d be terrible if the cliché was true this time ’round.

        Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 12:55.
      • JesseDeya
        Member
        Since: Jan 2010

        bunimomike: As a proud Australian I’d just like to respectfully say… GFY. U(K) really want go down this road?

        Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 14:29.
  4. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    that’s a shame, i was looking forward to the fox “news” story about how the game was corrupting americas youth because it has whore in the title, all the while ignoring, the possible, thousands of people you murder during the game, well if it’s like most modern games.

    Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 14:38.
  5. aerobes
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    As a huge fan of LA Noire, I find this unacceptable.

    Comment posted on 18/04/2013 at 16:29.

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