Rumour : The Mess that is L.A Noire

3 min read


A twitter account belonging to one “veracious_shit,”  claiming to be a source close to Team Bondi – the folks busy with L.A Noire – has said some pretty interesting, and pretty damning stuff about the game, the team and the man at the helm of it all, Brendan McNamara.

One of the interesting things revealed is that the trailer we saw in 2006 was not a trailer at all – but rather a target render (Hello, Killzone 2!). He goes in to some detail though about the issues that have plagued the development of the game – which is all starting to sound a lot like the Duke Nukem forever saga.

The fine folk at Kotaku have collated the various tweets, presenting it as a more coherent story.

To McNamara [note: Brendan McNamara, creator of The Getaway and Team Bondi founder], The Getaway was a tainted brand by Sony’s doing, and he cannot create a masterpiece with a tainted brand…The pressure led McNamara to eventually sign a deal with Sony for his new development studio, but he wouldn’t have to deal with SCEE…McNamara had an idea that would fucking blow Rockstar out of the water; an interactive 3D noir. Stuff that actually isn’t like other stuff…And McNamara would get a chance to create the launch title that completely defined a platform for its entire lifespan.

Work on this launch title began in 2003, and a lengthy three-year development plan would allow the game to be complete by his standards…By the next year, the game was well into development; the team grew into the dozens. Things were seemingly well…Then McNamara saw GTA: San Andreas; it was absolutely epic and went beyond the action basis. The present game plan would no longer suffice.

It became obvious that year that McNamara had little clue what he was doing and was just following his arbitrary whims…He had no clue how to manage a work environment—creating a horrible standard for quality of life with an ineffective human resources team…SCE’s development structure changed that year, and McNamara found himself again under the more keen eye of his old SCEE superiors….The new bosses found that Team Bondi had little to show 2+ years of development, except an unplayable game filled with superfluous content…However, the project had already cost Sony USD 20 million+; a cost high enough that they attempted to spend the few months salvaging LAN.

The game was now titled L.A. Noire—the "e" came from a programmers typo of "noir."

After those few months, Sony dropped the game—a situation that threw the studio into disarray…Strangely, McNamara quickly found hospice in his former rivals—the Houser brothers—and L.A. Noire was picked up by Rockstar in spring 2006…Sony and Take-Two came to agreement that the former wouldn’t pursue the costs incurred for development in exchange for a franchise exclusive…Obviously, Sony wrote off the costs associated with the development of L.A. Noire.

The 2006 LAN teaser was a target render done by an art outsourcing firm in Sydney…Since then, the game has been revamped, ported, and delayed four times. Rockstar spent more Sony in their efforts to make it not suck…

Considering that L.A Noire has been confirmed as a multiplatform game, one can only assume that the franchise exclusive Sony pawned L.A Noire to Rockstar for is the rather mysterious “The Agent,” of which we’ve seen nothing but a logo. While this is a diatribe from just one, unconfirmed source it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the state of L.A Noire, or indeed Team Bondi.

Thanks, Kotaku

Last Updated: March 3, 2010

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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