Team Bondi owed $1 million to staff
Team Bondi owed over a million Australian dollars to its own staff, we can reveal, with unpaid wages or bonuses accounting for over 75 per cent of the debt that ultimately brought the LA Noire developer to its knees.
According to documents filed with the Australian Securities And Investments Commission, the total amount owed to creditors is AU$1,425,156.78 (£900,051). Thirty-three staff credited for their work on the Rockstar-published detective thriller were owed a combined $1,074,283.28 (£678,459). Among those are Vicky Lord, the general manager whose internal emails imposing overtime on staff in the run-up to development milestones were leaked earlier this year. Lord is owed $99,155.21.
Also named is David Heironymus, the gameplay lead who, in an open letter to the IGDA in July, disputed claims of excessive crunch and attempted to shift the blame away from studio head Brendan McNamara. He is owed $43,652. Charles Lefebvre, who also wrote to the IGDA saying reports of crunch were exaggerated, is owed $19,120.17.
Brendan McNamara is also named as a creditor, the controversial studio head claiming he is owed $102,495.16, the highest amount owed to a single person.
Team Bondi's corporate creditors include Himalaya Creativity, apparently owned by a Marion McNamara, which is owed $2,420. Bogus Films, based at the same Sydney address as Team Bondi itself and which appears to have handled casting, claims $24,781.75. $54,427.01 is owed to Bondi's accountants.
Yet the most startling revelation comes from the appearance in the list of creditors of Depth Analysis, McNamara's Sydney-based firm that developed MotionScan. Team Bondi went down owing Depth Analysis $145,795.83 – it had not even fully paid for the facial animation technology that was so important a factor in LA Noire's success.
As we revealed earlier this week, the creditors ultimately resolved to have Team Bondi wound up. The appointed liquidator will handle the sale of any remaining assets and payment of outstanding debts before the studio is officially closed for good.