Team Bondi Lead Rebuts Attacks Against the Company

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#101 Posted by afrofools (1335 posts) -

I wasn't there so I don't know who is right, but since I hate the game I'll blindly side with the anonymous employees.

#102 Posted by John1912 (1979 posts) -

Management are always asshats.  The very nature of an authority position, and a need to hit a release date is enough to have things break down they way they have.  Its a companies job to put itself above and beyond its workers to insure is survives.  Its unfortunate, but a fact.  Seems R* and Team Bondi appear to be larger asshats then the next person/company/wtf ever.

#103 Posted by BLipp18 (256 posts) -

a little off topic, but is "reefer madness" the last la noire dlc? or are they ever going to release the Fraud desk and any other desks/cases that were finished and didnt fit on the discs?

#104 Posted by leebmx (2235 posts) -
@Brendan@Brendan said:

@Da_Madness said:

@leebmx said:
As others have pointed out I can't really see anything in his statement which contradicts any of the accusasions made by former employees. He doesn't even touch on the most important point they made which was that the management constantly gave misleading release dates to encourage extra hours and crunching. It wouldn't be so much of a problem if the management could admit they made serious mistakes, and if they had compensated people for their time properly and credited the people that left before the project was finished. It is the lack of compensation and credit which makes them look so nasty. Also he makes no mentions of Brendan MacNamara's supposedly aggressive management style.
I completely agree. All the guy is confirming is that it was great to be in management.

I feel compelled to note that a few of the things both of you said in your comments were definitely commented on in the article. He didn't touch upon false claims of crunch hour needs or un-credited work.

admit they made serious mistakes

no-one at Team Bondi is under the illusion that crunching is a good way to work and we're actively working to learn from our mistakes for our next project

compensated people for their time properly

Team Bondi put in place a scheme to (generously) reward employees for their weekend days spent at work. Additionally, in the last 6 months of the project a scheme was put in place to reward employees for staying back late on weeknights

confirming is that it was great to be in management

I never (and in my experience, neither did any of the other managers) expected anything from my team that I didn't expect of myself. The management team at Team Bondi was not ensconced in an Ivory Tower working normal hours while everyone else crunched

1. I think that is a pretty poor apology and makes no mention of the complaints of giving false release dates to force crunching, or not crediting people who left early. 
2. I don't think bringing in a scheme in the last 6 months of a seven year project can seriously be called proper compensation. - Again, what of all the hours that staff who left early worked in the preceeding 6 and a half years. 
3. The last comment wasn't mine - but  just because you work the hours doesn't make it right to force others to do so. In any case management will be on higher pay and have greater job security and greater potential rewards from the project  so it's not comparable. 
  
This statement really doesn't rebut any of the initial complaints,  ignoring some altogether and attempting to positively spin what it does mention. 

Obviously I don't know exactly how things went down, I only have the leaked emails (which you should really read if you haven't) and other comments from staff to contrast with this statement and the interview on IGN with Brendan MacNamara (who seems to be universally recognised as very difficult to work with).  
 What really makes me believe the workers are the fact that the only voices contradicting their story (I have seen anyway ) come from senior management and that Rockstar, who are not noted for giving their staff an easy ride (see the Red Dead Redemtion/Rockstar Wives letter), were apparently so appalled by the working conditions that they won't be publishing any more of Team Bondi's games. 
#105 Posted by Faint (833 posts) -

He hasn't really denied any of the claims tossed out by the former employees. All he did was say they got paid a bit to work weekends and longer hours. In my opinion, that doesn't change a whole lot.

#106 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

I can't say I find any of his argument compelling.

So yeah, calling him a sock puppet it is.

#107 Posted by Kosayn (453 posts) -

Tech jobs have more or less completely lacked unions in the 50 or so years since people have been building and working with computers. I guess nerds are such smart guys that they don't need them, is the idea? Anyway, the fact that 'crunch' is now seen as a normal practice is more of a problem than one newish company in particular dropping the ball. You can bet they'll get that design machine well oiled for the sophomore effort after how well Noire sold.

What it makes me think of most is how young the games industry still is. Practices will improve one way or another, you can't just have the wild west forever.

#108 Posted by Turtlemayor333 (510 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

I can't say I find any of his argument compelling.

So yeah, calling him a sock puppet it is.

Considering that you always look for the worst in a situation, can't say I'm surprised.

#109 Posted by P_Pigly_Hogswine (102 posts) -

I work in a creative dev agency (not gaming) and this shit happens all the time. It's a tough, demanding industry. Sounds like you've got a couple of princesses in the mix shitty about the fact they weren't their when the wrapping came off, throw in some big personalities and some blogs and here we are. None of this seems surprising in the slightest and it probably happens in countless other studios. The studio has a client and a massive financial obligation to hit. They're hardly "just producing a game". If LA Noire didn't garner the kudos it did, no one would even know about this. And as others have pointed out, the reason the accusers are anonymous is likely because of the effect on future employment.

#110 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Turtlemayor333 said:

@Hailinel said:

I can't say I find any of his argument compelling.

So yeah, calling him a sock puppet it is.

Considering that you always look for the worst in a situation, can't say I'm surprised.

It's apparent that you don't know me that well.

#111 Posted by bhlaab (167 posts) -

Firstly, my motivation for writing this: while I’m part of the “management goon squad” at Team Bondi, I’m also part of the “Aussie Five” who were the first five local employees at Team Bondi. I’ve been at Team Bondi since it was 11 people in a big empty room.

As one of the people who watched other people get fucked and did some of the fucking, I have to say the experience wasn't too bad!
#112 Posted by Slaker117 (4843 posts) -

Given that it is in his interest to spin this as positive as possible, and his story still doesn't sound all that positive, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the management on a game that took seven years to make was kind of fucked.

Online
#113 Posted by dim499 (44 posts) -

love the tricked up name Heironymous instead of Hironimus

#115 Posted by lordofultima (6287 posts) -

@Franstone: The 60+ hours a week created an amazing game. So I'd say, mission accomplished!

#116 Posted by CMarie55 (4 posts) -

@ADarkMatter: WIN.

#117 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7184 posts) -

When the same thing happens to another Rockstar game (Red Dead Redemption) you would start to think that maybe it was Rockstars fault.

#118 Posted by Kadayi (185 posts) -

@bhlaab said:

Firstly, my motivation for writing this: while I’m part of the “management goon squad” at Team Bondi, I’m also part of the “Aussie Five” who were the first five local employees at Team Bondi. I’ve been at Team Bondi since it was 11 people in a big empty room.

As one of the people who watched other people get fucked and did some of the fucking, I have to say the experience wasn't too bad!

LOL a fair description I'd say of Dave's part in the whole affair . I think regardless of how one slices or dices it, 7 years in development Hell, a 100 person staff turnover and the simple fact that their publisher now wants nothing to do with them from here on in says far more about the nature of their company management than anything else. Strangely enough in this life, you then tend to reap what you sow. Seems the management at Team Bondi are only just cottoning onto this fact.

#119 Posted by TheKreep (68 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:
@TheKreep: A ton of people were left uncredited. Rough development doesn't excuse several external factors that revolve around this controversy.
I don't doubt that some poor decisions were made, and that people were wronged. What I mean is that I don't think that there was any kind of malicious intent; Team Bondi management doesn't seem to me like the big bad that everyone's making them out to be.
#120 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@TheKreep said:

@FluxWaveZ said:
@TheKreep: A ton of people were left uncredited. Rough development doesn't excuse several external factors that revolve around this controversy.
I don't doubt that some poor decisions were made, and that people were wronged. What I mean is that I don't think that there was any kind of malicious intent; Team Bondi management doesn't seem to me like the big bad that everyone's making them out to be.

People being uncredited and fired right before the end of the process would feel as if they had been on the receiving end of some malice. Team Bondi aren't the issue, McNamara is.

#121 Posted by dvorak (1497 posts) -

This kind of stuff happens in every organization no matter how large or small it is, or what industry it's in. Some people are going to manage with the "right" or "wrong" style and it's going to piss some people off.

#122 Edited by Rekt_Hed (852 posts) -

@BLipp18 said:

a little off topic, but is "reefer madness" the last la noire dlc? or are they ever going to release the Fraud desk and any other desks/cases that were finished and didnt fit on the discs?

could not be a more off insensitive comment dude!

" i know shits messed up but like....yo you guys making more content or what cause uno.....ummm i want more stuff. I dont really care for this whole controversy news shit and how workers may or maybe have been screwed over I just want more game. I dont even care if Team Bondi hires slaves to make more DLC i just need it"

Like really dude. RLY!!!!!!

#123 Posted by ikaruga (194 posts) -

65hrs is not unheard of when you're working as an engineer. I'm an electrical engineer working at a research firm and on test day we normally start at 7 and end at 8 and when I have a project I need to finish 65 hrs is pretty usual. However it's not something that happened every week, sometimes we have really light work schedule (esp. when waiting for parts, components to be built, shipped etc.)

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