The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has promised a full investigation into reports of 100 hour work weeks at LA Noire developer Team Bondi and menacing behaviour by boss Brendan McNamara.
Former employees and studio insiders have been speaking openly about conditions at the studio, describing them as ‘brutal’. 100 hour plus work weeks were not uncommon, leading to a rapid turnover of staff. This included 25 departing coders who didn’t even have another job to go to, but who decided that unemployment was preferable to working at the Sydney-based studio.
Meanwhile, McNamara was described as “the angriest person I’ve ever met” and incapable of listening to reason.
“The project wasn’t coming together as fast as management wanted it to, they started to become aggressive and demanding,” another insider claimed.
Chair of the IGDA Board of Directors, Brian Robbins has promised a full investigation of these reports. “Reports of 12-hour a day, lengthy crunch time, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the individuals involved, the final product, and the industry as a whole,” he said, encouraging any Team Bondi employees to email [email protected] with their views.
While IGDA is a non-profit organisation without any direct legislative power, it is a professional society for game developers that aims to shape industry standards. A damning report of poor working conditions could at least warn potential employees away from certain studios, as well as raise public awareness of the problem.
Image taken from LA Noire.