Rockstar will not have anything to do with Team Bondi's next game, thanks to a break down in the relationship between the publisher and the L.A Noire developer.
There's what has been described by an inside source as a "disdain" for Team Bondi from Rockstar, which apparently ploughed a lot of resources into L.A Noire's development and "saved the project."
"It's pretty well reported now that the working conditions were bad. What hasn't been discussed yet (from what I've seen) is the relationship between Team Bondi and Rockstar," a former Team Bondi staffer told GI.biz.
"I've heard a lot about Rockstar's disdain for Team Bondi, and it has been made quite clear that they will not publish Team Bondi's next game. Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged - Brendan treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project.
"They continued to sink money into LA Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago."
"Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development; their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game's development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management.
"At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar's frustration with Team Bondi's direction, and eventually Team Bondi's management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control. It's also worth pointing out that Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like 'Rockstar Sydney' - the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea. I have a few logs that show the relationship souring - see below."
One of the logs, an email from Team Bondi boss Brendan McNamara to the rest of the studio, shows disagreement between McNamara and Rockstar over pulling out of 2010's E3.
A second log is a bit more fiery and shows McNamara's reaction to a Rockstar redesign of the L.A Noire logo and the lack of a Team Bondi logo on the game announcement.
"Brendan's reply was only supposed to be to Simon, but he replied to everybody at Team Bondi by mistake," said the source. "He claimed he was only talking about commenters on news articles, but it was pretty clear to everyone that this wasn't true."
From: Brendan McNamara [Team Bondi founder]
To: Everybody List [everyone who worked for Team Bondi]
Every dog has its day and there's going to be hell to pay for this one. I'll never forget being treated like an absolute **** by these people.
This all comes, of course, after Team Bondi was caught in a storm of controversy about the treatment of its staff during development of L.A Noire.
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) was set to investigate claims of unfair work policies at the Australian studio at the end of last month.