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Sydney video game studio Team Bondi in administration

Thursday, 1 September 2011 | By Patrick Stafford

Sydney-based video game development studio Team Bondi, the company responsible for one of the industry’s most successful games of the year, has been placed into administration.

 

The appointment comes after a tumultuous few months for the studio. It has been battered by reports of poor working conditions, along with criticism from former employees who were not credited on the company’s blockbuster title LA Noire.

 

According to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Riad Tayeh and David Solomons of de Vries Tayeh were appointed as joint administrators of the company on August 30.

 

The appointment comes weeks after the business was rumoured to be selling assets and intellectual property to filmmaker George Miller’s studio KMM.

 

However, when SmartCompany contacted KMM and its Dr D Studio division, it was advised no comment would be provided.

 

It is still unknown whether the appointment of an administrator is related to the rumoured transaction, or whether it will be going ahead at all.

 

When SmartCompany contacted the Team Bondi office this morning, it was informed the company was no longer located there. It was also told that no person would be available to handle media enquiries going forward.

 

De Vries Tayeh and both administrators were contacted over the past two days, but no reply was available prior to publication.

 

A creditor’s meeting is set to take place tomorrow in Sydney.

 

The studio was founded in 2003 by Brendan McNamara, who had previously worked for Sony. Over the past seven years the company has been working on its LA Noire title, although it has been plagued with problems including a shift in publishers.

 

But although the title was released earlier this year to financial and critical success, Team Bondi has been struck by claims of poor working conditions, with ex-employees reportedly claiming long working hours and unreasonable pressure.

 

A group of employees then made a website claiming they had worked on the LA Noire game, and yet were not included in the title credits. Both of these claims prompted the International Game Developer’s Association to launch an investigation.

 

Subsequent reports indicated that Rockstar would not be publishing Team Bondi’s next title, and that the Sydney studio was looking for a new publisher.