Recently, documents found by gamesindustry.biz indicated that Team Bondi will be closing at the request of its creditors and the company and assets will be liquidated to pay off debts. Liquidators have already been appointed, but as it turns out, Team Bondi staff makes up the majority of the creditors and are owed amounts totaling in excess of $1.4 million.
The individual amounts range between $1,600-$102,000, and the creditors include designers, programmers, producers, gameplay designers, and even the studio boss. A small number of corporate entities are also among the creditors, including Depth Analysis, a motion capture firm founded by Brendan McNamara.
Team Bondi imploded after many came forward with allegations of poor working conditions, such as the studio forcing many to exist in a state of constant crunch. Furthermore, the developer’s relationship with their publisher, Rockstar, took a turn for the worst, and the publisher ended up publicly refusing to work with the studio again. Finally, the studio entered administration in September and is now coming to a close.
Analysis: Given the fact that the studio had to enter administration at all, it’s unlikely that the staff among the creditors will end up getting their money. However, I’d wager many of them will just to be glad to end this chapter in their lives. As I mentioned in my article, linked to above, regarding the studio entering administration, many of the staff had already started looking for jobs elsewhere, including the Happy Feet 2 studio, KMM.
Team Bondi’s work was pretty good, as L.A. Noire is critically acclaimed, but the studio made some poor choices that harmed them in the long run. This should serve as a lesson to many others in the industry: crunch doesn’t pay, and be wary of not paying your workers (or not getting paid, in the case of an employee). Finally, the closing of this studio is another mark on the wall for Australia. They’re really having a hard time keeping good development studios there.