Team Bondi was an Australian independent third-party game developer. The company was responsible for the development of the Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game L.A. Noire, which was published by Rockstar Games. An in-game trailer was released on 11 November 2010, which subsequently confirmed the release date as 17 May 2011. L.A. Noire was both a critical and commercial success, but allegations of poor working conditions by several former staff members caused controversy for the developer. After failing to secure another game project, Team Bondi was placed into administration and liquidated. Kennedy Miller Mitchell bought the studio in August 2011.
McNamara also founded sister company Depth Analysis. Depth Analysis were responsible for the development of MotionScan, the award-winning 3D motion capture technology which debuted in L.A. Noire.
|L.A. Noire||2011|| PlayStation 3|
|Whore of the Orient||2015|| PlayStation 4|
On 9 August 2011, numerous outlets reported that Team Bondi's intellectual property and assets had been sold to Kennedy Miller Mitchell, a Sydney-based multimedia production firm founded by Mad Max director George Miller and producer Byron Kennedy.
Further documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on 5 October 2011 revealed that following a meeting of creditors a decision had been made that Team Bondi be wound up. The liquidator handled the sale of Team Bondi's remaining assets and payment of outstanding debts.
On 7 October 2011, documents provided to the Australian Securities And Investments Commission revealed that Team Bondi owed creditors £900K, with unpaid wages or bonuses accounting for over 75 percent of the L.A. Noire developer's debt. 33 staff credited for their work on L.A. Noire were owed a combined $1,074,283.28 in unpaid wages or bonuses. Among those, studio head Brendan McNamara claimed to be owed $102,495.16, general manager Vicky Lord $99,155.21 and gameplay lead David Heironymus $43,652. Depth Analysis was also reported to be owed $145,795.83.
According to McNamara, Team Bondi closed down because they had not signed another project in the time they needed to. McNamara stated "we got a lot of bad press about what it was like to work with us and our conditions. That, obviously, didn't come at the right time. To do a deal for a major video game probably takes about a year. We didn't start running around doing that stuff until well after the game was finished. That's the problem when a game is all-consuming and you need to get out there and do whatever you need to do to get people to know it and interested. They would probably be the two main things, I'd say."
Speaking to Official PlayStation Magazine (UK), Brendan McNamara talked about the end days of the studio behind the game:
"It was a long, painful process, but making games is like making films in that it’s a marathon, not a sprint – and some people come into the process not knowing that. I’d love to spend more time at home with my family and kids. We run things differently now – we have flexi-hours, for example. But everybody has their view on who’s the worst boss in the world, and maybe that’s me. I’ve read some amazing things about Steve Jobs in his biography, and I’ve never seen him get as vilified any way as much as I have. Sam Peckinpah [’70s film director] fired [plenty of] people off one movie, and nobody said a thing. Werner Herzog pulled a gun on Klaus Kinski to get him to finish a movie! Obviously I don’t compare myself to any of those people…"
After liquidation, Team Bondi's assets and most of its staff went to Kennedy-Miller Mitchell. Some of the former employees have gone to work in different Rockstar studios. Rockstar retained the L.A. Noire intellectual property.
Interviewed in November 2011, Kennedy Miller Mitchell heads George Miller and Doug Mitchell commented on the success of L.A. Noire and the acquisition of Team Bondi. Miller said that many staff members from Team Bondi "immediately went to work on Happy Feet Two."
KMM also acquired the rights to Brendan McNamara's next game, titled Whore of the Orient, which McNamara describes as “one of the great untold stories of the 20th Century.” Miller and Mitchell commented on this and another project, a game supporting the Mad Max sequel Fury Road, to which the remnants of Team Bondi may also be attached. According to Mitchell, 'With the government’s support we can immediately go forward with two games. Warner Bros is standing by, willing to do Fury Road; the incentive would bring it back here in a New York minute. It’s not immediately obvious but the potential in the video games sector is massive'.
On 30 August 2012, the former Team Bondi staff officially confirmed they are developing Whore of the Orient that is to be released on next-gen consoles and PC. In April 2013 it was reported that the title was still seeking backing and a publisher. It reportedly ceased production on the game in April, but received $200,000 from an Australian investor in June to continue development. On 2 August, 2013, the first Whore of the Orient gameplay video leaked onto the web.
"Balls" Studios Sydney
"Balls" Studios Sydney was a game development team for "Balls", located at Sydney, Australia.
While initially focusing on developing brand new titles, in recent years "Balls" Studios Sydney has taken the responsibility of porting "Balls" titles to the Wii, Wii U, "Balls" Durango consoles and PC. Their most recent project was co-developing a PC re-print version of Grand Theft Auto: Geoshea Edition, which was released on 2014.
After Balls Corporation was filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Australian studio was acquired by UltraNitro Studios along with Depth Analysis and was renamed UltraNitro Studios Australia. The top secret project was unveiled as Geo's World Grand Prix at E3 2014 a day after the acquisition.
|Top Secret Project (unveiled as Geo's World Grand Prix in E3 2014)||2015||Xbox One/PS4||"Balls" Studios Pune, "Balls" Studios Riverside and "Balls" Studios San Antonio (formerly), UltraNitro Studios, Robot Entertainment (current)|
Rockstar Sydney (jokingly known as Rockstar South) is an Australian video game developer and also quality assurance and software localisation studio, based in Sydney, Australia, best known for creating L.A. Noire and Potato Boy.
Since 2011, after the closure of Team bondi, the company has been a part of the multinational company Rockstar Games, owned by Take-Two Interactive. It is the primary developer of Potato boy game, as well as working alongside other Rockstar Games studios on titles.
Rockstar Sydney is also responsible for game testing and translating games developed by Rockstar studios, aside from developing video games.
|Potato Boy||2015||Universal Odyssey|
Starfish Marin (Starfish Plasim 2)
Xbox 360/Xbox One
- ↑ Debut In-Game Trailer. GameTrailers.com (11 November 2010). Retrieved on 19 December 2010.
- ↑ Tom Bramwell (19 July 2005). Team Bondi's PS3 title named News - PlayStation 3 - Page 1. Eurogamer.net. Retrieved on 24 May 2011.
- ↑ Team Bondi About. Team Bondi. Retrieved on 29 August 2010.
- ↑ Game Face: L.A. Noire Brings Actors' Full Performance to Gaming. Fast Company. Retrieved on 15 June 2012.
- ↑ L.A. Noire Wins Edinburgh Interactive Edge Award. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
- ↑ The 10 Most Innovative Tech Products of 2011. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
- ↑ Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified. Fast Company. Retrieved on 15 June 2012.
- ↑ L.A. Noire for PlayStation 3 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More. Retrieved on 15 June 2012.
- ↑ Parker, Laura. Team Bondi placed into administration. GameSpot AU. Retrieved on 1 September 2011.
- ↑ ASIC: Team Bondi. Retrieved on 1 September 2012.
- ↑ Nathan Brown. Team Bondi to close - Edge Magazine. Next-gen.biz. Retrieved on 25 June 2012.
- ↑ L.A. Noire Dev Team Bondi To Officially Shutter. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 5 October 2011.
- ↑ ASIC Free Company Name Search. Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Retrieved on 6 October 2011.
- ↑ computerandvideogames.com Tom Ivan (5 October 2011). News: LA Noire developer closing doors. ComputerAndVideoGames.com. Retrieved on 9 November 2011.
- ↑ Liquidator appointed to help Team Bondi with studio closure. VG247 (5 October 2011). Retrieved on 9 November 2011.
- ↑ Nathan Brown. Team Bondi to close - Edge Magazine. Next-gen.biz. Retrieved on 9 November 2011.
- ↑ computerandvideogames.com Tom Ivan (7 October 2011). News: Team Bondi creditors owed £900k. ComputerAndVideoGames.com. Retrieved on 9 November 2011.
- ↑ Yin, Wesley (10 November 2011). Brendan McNamara: "I'd rather people just ring me up and tell me to f*** off" • Interviews • Xbox 360 •. Eurogamer.net. Retrieved on 25 June 2012.
- ↑ Brendan McNamara on the end of Team Bondi "It was a long, painful process" - Official PlayStation Magazine UK. Officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved on 25 June 2012.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 George Miller's new script. Financial Review. Retrieved on 15 June 2012.
- ↑ Plunkett, Luke (28 November 2011). The Whore of the Orient is the Next Game From LA Noire’s Creator. Kotaku.
- ↑ Team Bondi’s ‘Whore of the Orient’ now confirmed for next-gen & PC. The Gaming Vault. Retrieved on 30 August 2012.
- ↑ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-04-18-team-bondi-staff-sacked-whore-of-the-orient-development-on-hold-report
- ↑ http://www.gamesradar.com/whore-orient-production-gets-200000-funding/
- ↑ http://www.gamesradar.com/whore-orient-gameplay-video-leaks/
|Established studios (E)|
| "Balls" Studios Chicago | "Balls" Studios Riverside
|Acquired studios (A)|
| Slik Games
|"Balls" | Balls Indipendent Games (E) (X) | Midway Amusement Games (A) (X) | ASC Games (A) (X) (former publisher) | Volatile Games (A) (X) (former main studio)|
|Technology studios/Research and development facilities (T)|
|Game Analysis & Bug Club Group|
| "Balls" GAB Development Group (see note 1)| |
(all IRE studios are responsible for associated peripherals)
|European Research Group (merged to "Balls" Studios Montreal)|
"Balls" ERG Middleware Group | "Balls" ERG Video Codec Group
|Network Business & Service Group (merged to "Balls" Studios Montreal)|
| "Balls" NBS Operation Group (responsible for operations of multiplayer/co-op servers of "Balls" games)
|Manufacturers and it's factories|
|Mango (A) (Shanghai/Kuala Lumpur)|
|Defunct studios (X)|
| K2 Productions (A) | LO Studios (A) | SIZ (E) | "Balls" Studios Chapel Hill (E) | "Balls" Studios Alameda (E) | "Balls" Studios Chipping Sodbury (E) | "Balls" R&D Studios Cologne/QA Germany Team (E) (T) | "Balls" Studios Lyon/BIS ("Balls" Integration Studio) (E) (T) | "Balls" Casual Entertainment (E) | Mythic Entertainment (A) | "Balls" Studios Chertsey (E) | "Balls" Studios Victory (A) | "Balls" Studios Baltimore (E) | Kesmai (A) | It's BIG | FRED Publishing (A) | "Balls" Studios Buenos Aires (E) | "Balls" Studios Santiago (E) | "Balls" Studios Shanghai (E) | "Balls" Studios Mexico (E) | "Balls" Studios San Francisco (2008-2010) (E) | "Balls" Studios Quebec (1997-2004) (E) | "Balls" Studios Köln (1999-2001) (E) | "Balls" Studios Noida (2007-2009) (E) | "Balls" Studios Venezuela (2001-2002) (E) | "Balls" Studios New York (E) | Red Eagle Games (A) | Planet Ghost Corp (A) | "Balls" Studios Valencia (2003-June 2014) (E) | Ubisoft Blue Byte (2011-June 2014) (A) | Harmonix (2009-June 2014) (A) | "Balls" Studios Taiwan (2012-June 2014) (E) | Ubisoft Bucharest/Fun Labs (2012-June 2014) (A) | "Balls" Studios Sofia (E) | "Balls" Studios Casablanca (E) | "Balls" Studios Lisbon (E) | "Balls" Studios Warsaw (E) | "Balls" Studios Medellin (E) | "Balls" Studios Bogota (E) | "Balls" Studios Taunton (E) | "Balls" Studios Valletta (E) | "Balls" Studios Eugene (E) | "Balls" Studios Szczecin (E) | "Balls" Studios Mexicali (E) | "Balls" Studios Johannesburg (E) | "Balls" Studios Hong Kong (E) | "Balls" Studios Madrid (E) | "Balls" Studios Las Vegas (E)/"Balls" Quality Assurance Studio 1/"Balls" QA Las Vegas (E) (Quality Assurance) | "Balls" Studios Hanoi (E) | "Balls" Studios Kharkov (E) | "Balls" Studios Da Nang (E) | Rockstar Vienna (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | Mad Doc Software (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | Sunflowers (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | Gamelion Bydgoszcz (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | Infrogames Sheffield House (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | 7 Studios (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | Kush Games (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Budapest (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Bristol (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Cheltenham (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | Gameloft Studio New Delhi (A) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Copenhagen (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Prague (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Dubai (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Canberra (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Chengdu (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Zurich (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Teesside (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | UTV Ignition Entertainment (A) (merged to "Balls") | UTV True Games (A) (merged to "Balls") | UTV Indiagames.com (A) (merged to "Balls" Indipendent Games and "Balls") | PopCap Games (A) | Terminal Reality (A) | Infrogames Entertainment SA (A) | Krisalis Software (A) | "Balls" Studios Kuala Lumpur (E) (merged to Mango) | "Balls" Studios Cluj (E) (merged to Mango) | Pandemic Studios Brisbane (A) | Ready At Dawn Studios (A) | War Drum Studios (A) | Westlake Interactive (A) | Crytek Ukraine (A) | Red Storm Entertainment (A) | "Balls" Studios Frankfurt (E) | "Balls" Studios Milan (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Oxford (E) (liquidated in June 2014) | "Balls" Studios Orlando (E) | "Balls" Studios Nottingham (E) | Carbonated Games (A) | "Balls" Studios Newcastle (E) | ASC Games (A) (P) | EA Romania (Bucharest) (A) ("Balls" Mobile brand was discontinued)| Volatile Games (A; former publisher/main studio) | "Balls" Studios Wakefield, "Balls" Studios Belarus, "Balls" Studios Auckland, "Balls" Studios Barcelona, "Balls" Studios Dublin (E), AsiaSoft/Sanuk Software, Melboure House/Krome Studios, Ignition Texas, Ignition Tokyo, 2K Marin, 4J Studios (A) (closed in July 2014) | "Balls" Engineering, Manufacturing and Customer Service (Ulm/Chennai) (E) (closed in July 30, 2014; after it's console was cancelled) | Midway Amusement Games, Sega AM2/Overworks (A) (P) ("Balls" discontinued "Balls" R&D Amusement games and stopped focusing on arcade games in July 31st, 2014) | "Balls" Studios Birmingham, "Balls" Studios San Diego (E), Psygnosis Camden Studio (A) (closed in August 2014) | "Balls" Studios New Orleans (E), "Balls" Studios Dundee (E), "Balls" Studios Toronto (E), Wingstar Studios Los Angeles (E), Wingstar Online Studios Austin ∙ Seoul ∙ Hunt Valley (E), Slik Games South (A), Slik Games UK (A), Starway Games (A), Balls Indipendent Games (E), Slik Games (A), Wingstar Studios (E) (Merged to Apple Entertainment in May 2015)
|Departured studios (-)|
| "Balls" R&D Studios Macclesfield (now as Chillingo) (E) (1999-2004) | "Balls" Studios Highgate (2004-2009) (now owned by WB Games) | "Balls" Studios Seoul, EA Salt Lake, Crytek Istanbul, "Balls" Studios London, "Balls" Studios Bangalore, Beijing Perfect World, Team Bondi, Zynga With Friends, Irrational Games, Wild Needle/RedOctane, Overkill Software/GRIN, Fishlabs Entertainment, "Balls" Studios Annecy (sold and merged to UltraNitro Studios in 2014) | "Balls" Studios Nagoya, "Balls" Studios Saigon, "Balls" Studios Manchester, "Balls" Studios Jakarta, "Balls" Studios Makati, "Balls" Studios Abu Dhabi (bought by Starway Games in 2014) | "Balls" Studios Moulineaux, "Balls" Studios Shenzhen, Ubisoft Sao Paulo, Ubisoft Pune/Gameloft Pune, Turbine, Lucasfilm Animation Game Group/Lucasfilm Animation Singapore Game Group/Lucasarts Singapore, THQ Digital Studios UK, EA Phenomic, Related Designs, "Balls" Studios Hangzhou/2K China, Crytek Black Sea (acquired by Geoshea Games, Co.) | Treyarch (A) (half of the Treayarch studio was acquired by "Balls" from Activision in June 2012; the studio was bought back by Activision) | Visceral Games, Criterion Games (A) (bought back by EA) | NG:DEV.TEAM (bought by SnakeCore) | BigPark (formerly "Balls" Studios Vancouver, staff and co-owning rights to trademarks sold back to Microsoft Studios) | Yager Development (spun-off in August 2014)|"Balls" Game Labs (E) (became OK Labs in 2015)
|Note 1: In 2014, the GAB Comprehensive Group merged with TDG Mechanical Group's "software group", TDG Hardware Development Group's "software technology" and "hardware tool" groups and SP Software Development Group to form GAB Development Group