It’s been a bit of an up-and-down year for Team Bondi, to say the least. First, the developer delivers L.A. Noire, a tale of greed and corruption in 1940s Los Angeles, to tremendous critical and gamer fanfare. Then, reports surface that suggest the working conditions at Bondi were actually pretty poor (employees were faced with “ominous crunch” periods and a strong urging to go above and beyond the normal day’s work).
And now, it looks like Bondi is about to be no more, as the company has recently filed for bankruptcy and is in the processing of being purchased by KMM Studio, leaving the developer’s future projects in a state of uncertainty. It’s definitely bad news for a developer with a bright future ahead of them, but just goes to show the fickle state of the video game business.
Of course, most gamers concern will lie two-fold: partly with Team Bondi and party with L.A. Noire. While Team Bondi will need to go through some serious restructuring and rebuilding before it’s in the same state it was when L.A. Noire was feverishly being worked on, L.A. Noire, the series, might still continue on.
Rockstar Games, the “co-developer” and publisher of L.A. Noire actually own the rights to the IP and could very well step in to deliver the promised sequel(s) for the series. They certainly have their plate full with Grand Theft Auto 5 and some other supposed projects, but considering the popularity of L.A. Noire it wouldn’t be surprising to see them keep the series going.
Obviously we wish the best to all of the developers at Team Bondi who were either absorbed by KMM Studio or forced elsewhere due to harsh working conditions. In a perfect world the team and the property (L.A. Noire) would unite to build from that really tremendous foundation, but that seems rather unlikely at the moment. For now, let us just hope everyone lands on their feet.
Would you be up for an L.A. Noire sequel that is developed without Team Bondi? What do you think the future holds for the developer?