The Story of L.A. Noire and 7 Years of Development Hell

Team Bondi

We’ve written quite a few articles about L.A. Noire here in the last few months, but I thought there was still a bit more conversation to be had around this excellent game. While there are plenty of games that undergo long and complex development cycles, the crime-thriller mystery from Team Bondi had a slightly longer and more difficult path than most: 7 years, two different publishers and over one hundred employees that left.

Crazy, huh? The full story is presented in an excellent piece by IGN, where they interviewed both studio head Brendan McNamara as well as the “Bondi Eleven”, a group of former Team Bondi developers who came forward to tell the story of the company’s inception, its turbulent times on L.A. Noire and just why the process spun out of control for them. It’s a bit disconcerting to read things like this, because it seems to be the norm of the video game industry these days. Long hours, blatant disregard for employees’ welfare and generally terrible morale. Definitely a sobering piece for anybody considering jumping feet-first into the games industry.

So what do you guys think about this? I know a lot of you are aspiring game developers. Does this give you pause? Have any of you been in working conditions like this?

Source – IGN