Former Team Bondi Chief Speaks Out

Former Team Bondi Chief Speaks Out

image

Former Team Bondi head Brendan McNamara says he's not a bully, but he wishes that people who claim he is had the stones to say so to his face.

The post-L.A. Noire breakdown of Team Bondi has been well documented but the one man who hasn't had much to say about it, until now, is former studio head Brendan McNamara. McNamara earned himself a reputation as a tyrant and a bully in the waning days of Team Bondi's swan song, which he says contributed to the demise of his studio even though it was unjustified.

"We got a lot of bad press about what it was like to work with us and our conditions. That, obviously, didn't come at the right time," he told Eurogamer. And although it was the deteriorating relationship between Team Bondi and Rockstar that left the studio without a publisher or a project, McNamara added that he holds no grudges.

"We're all pretty volatile. We had our ups and downs in the making of it. But we're all big boys," he said. "I've known Sam [Houser, co-founder and president of Rockstar Games] for maybe fifteen years. We go a long way. We still talk when we need to. Anything that was part of the process is all water under the bridge to me."

McNamara didn't deny that Team Bondi worked hard fhours during the L.A. Noire crunch phase, but he said he didn't believe that it was any worse than what other major studios go through when they're under the gun, either. He claimed the backlash caught him by surprise and suggested that much of it probably sprang from intense feelings about McNamara himself. "I'm like Vegemite. People either love you or hate you," he said. "And a there's a lot of people who don't like Vegemite."

"People are entitled to their opinion. I'm perfectly happy for people to say they don't like working with me or I'm a bully or I'm this or whatever. The part that annoys me is people do it anonymously. I'd rather they just ring me up and tell me to f*ck off, right?" he continued. He also made it clear that he thinks all the anonymity surrounding his detractors was pretty silly.

"We had a TV show in Australia, which was showing people who used to work on L.A. Noire with their faces blacked out and their voices changed. I was sitting there thinking, hang on, this isn't the IRA. They didn't enjoy working at the place and they don't like me as their boss. Okay, but we made a videogame. I think we made a great videogame. It was a difficult and terrible process, but nobody died making it," he said. "So I thought that was kind of... where does this end, you know? What we did was make a videogame, and you black out your face and change your voice? If you want to have your five minutes on TV and show your face, I'm cool about it. You can say whatever you like about me."

McNamara said he's in the early stages of work on a new project that he's been pitching to publishers for a couple of weeks, and hopes to be able to make a public announcement about it soon.

Permalink

Andy Chalk:

McNamara didn't deny that Team Bondi worked hard fhours during the L.A. Noire crunch phase,

Might want to fix that.

Interesting to see what he had to say. We did hear a lot of bad things about this guy awhile back. Sounds like the people were right about him, but he just doesn't seem to care. It's a hard industry, after all.

Ahaha. That is too funny. People changing their voices and blacking out their faces?! You didn't work for the damned mob you tools! You made a video game.

I would imagine they wanted to be anonymous so that it wouldn't affect their future career prospects, not because they gave a shit about him.

I think he feels slightly bad for being such a bad boss that people scrambled their voices and censored their face to remain anonymous.

Guilty conscience is a wonderfull thing indeed. *chuckles*

Ghostwise:
Ahaha. That is too funny. People changing their voices and blacking out their faces?! You didn't work for the damned mob you tools! You made a video game.

Problem with that is, sadly whistle blowers are rarely welcomed back with open arms in any industry. It's easy enough to get a black mark put to your name and even harder to get it removed entirely. I'd say that the game development industry in Aussie is small enough that if your name comes up in a bad way you can kiss your potential employment away

Woodsey:
I would imagine they wanted to be anonymous so that it wouldn't affect their future career prospects, not because they gave a shit about him.

Yeah, I would not want to be known as "the guy that complained about his boss on TV", even if he's a tyrant.

Inclined to agree. I have yet to hear one "What was going on at Team Bondi while they were working on LA Noire" story that seems out of the ordinary for a studio working on a tripe A title.

Ghostwise:
Ahaha. That is too funny. People changing their voices and blacking out their faces?! You didn't work for the damned mob you tools! You made a video game.

Yes no worries at all about revealing your identity apart from loosing your job, getting you ass sued for everything you own on grounds of slander, and loosing all chances of further employment with the bad press that will surround you.

The guy just wants names to further beat them into the ground, he doesn't the slightest fuck about anyone around him.

McNamara may have come off as an asshole, but the way these people are dealing with it makes it look like he could assassinate them. After reading about the stuff that went on, I'm pretty sure he's all talk and no action.

McNamara said he's in the early stages of work on a new project that he's been pitching to publishers for a couple of weeks, and hopes to be able to make a public announcement about it soon.

LOL

Yeah, good luck to you on that, buddy.

Is it just me, or does it tend to be the one guy that everyone thinks takes things too far, sometimes to the level of actual bullying, is always the one who uses the phrase, "What? We're all big boys around here."?

If anyone will get blackballed it will be McNamara. It's not like he is some sort of video game god. The man has made 2 games in his career and everyone that works for him thinks he is an asshole. His games weren't even that great. If anything the peoples hiding their identities would be better off just calling him out in public for sucking at his job. At least others would see that they have a pair.

AstylahAthrys:

Andy Chalk:

McNamara didn't deny that Team Bondi worked hard fhours during the L.A. Noire crunch phase,

Might want to fix that.

Interesting to see what he had to say. We did hear a lot of bad things about this guy awhile back. Sounds like the people were right about him, but he just doesn't seem to care. It's a hard industry, after all.

I assumed he'd just created a new hip term for 'for hours'.

Woodsey:
I would imagine they wanted to be anonymous so that it wouldn't affect their future career prospects, not because they gave a shit about him.

Yeah, pretty much. When people hire you, they call up your former employer to find out how you worked/acted.

You can see how going on TV to deface your former employer would be bad, in this case.

Funny. A guy claimed to be a bully wants people to 'have the stones' to say so to his face?

Uh, have we all just forgotten how people get away with being bullies in the first place?

It's usually because the people they are bullying are too intimidated to do anything about it.

And this guy is saying they should have come up to him and said so to his face?
If they had done that, he probably wouldn't have gotten away with being a bully in the first place.

The game took nearly 8 years to make. This guy ran his ENTIRE team into the dirt for the better part of a decade. This wasn't "under the gun." It wasn't a crunch time a few months before launch. It was years of brutality and then he had the balls not to give credit to the people who didn't suffer the entire time.

I hope this guy never get's another project off the ground. On top of being a vile boss and human being, he squandered millions, didn't pay huge percentages of his staff and his contracted companies, drove his studio out of business, then has the balls to get out there and go all "Bro say it to my face bro,"?. Does this guy know ANYTHING about management or even how to behave as a respectable human being?

CrystalShadow:
Funny. A guy claimed to be a bully wants people to 'have the stones' to say so to his face?

Uh, have we all just forgotten how people get away with being bullies in the first place?

It's usually because the people they are bullying are too intimidated to do anything about it.

And this guy is saying they should have come up to him and said so to his face?
If they had done that, he probably wouldn't have gotten away with being a bully in the first place.

Problem is not only is he a bully, but he has some legitimate power. If people had "said it to his face," he would have just fired them and found people who would take the abuse.

The reason nobody would say it to your face is because doing so risks your career and everything you've ever worked for.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Inclined to agree. I have yet to hear one "What was going on at Team Bondi while they were working on LA Noire" story that seems out of the ordinary for a studio working on a tripe A title.

Still doesn't make it right. Stuff like that shouldn't happen.

OT: Of course the guy wouldn't admit he is a jerk. Jerks usually don't think they are jerks, so I am rather disinclined to trust him on this.

BreakfastMan:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Inclined to agree. I have yet to hear one "What was going on at Team Bondi while they were working on LA Noire" story that seems out of the ordinary for a studio working on a tripe A title.

Still doesn't make it right. Stuff like that shouldn't happen.

OT: Of course the guy wouldn't admit he is a jerk. Jerks usually don't think they are jerks, so I am rather disinclined to trust him on this.

Of course it doesnt make it right, but that doesnt mean we should single out this one studio. And thats exactly what gaming sites and magazines have been doing.

Woodsey:
I would imagine they wanted to be anonymous so that it wouldn't affect their future career prospects, not because they gave a shit about him.

^This, chances of a future studio hiring a guy publicly shitting all over their former boss are not that awesome. It's certainly not a plus on your resume.

I'll never understand peoples whining about working too hard or long hours. If you don't like it then find another job where you don't have to - you're not a slave.

Wow, it's almost as if he thinks it's all about him.
I guess he is kind of a dick...or just a hardass with a big ego but many would argue that's the same.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

BreakfastMan:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Inclined to agree. I have yet to hear one "What was going on at Team Bondi while they were working on LA Noire" story that seems out of the ordinary for a studio working on a tripe A title.

Still doesn't make it right. Stuff like that shouldn't happen.

OT: Of course the guy wouldn't admit he is a jerk. Jerks usually don't think they are jerks, so I am rather disinclined to trust him on this.

Of course it doesnt make it right, but that doesnt mean we should single out this one studio. And thats exactly what this site has been doing.

There's a whole Extra Credits episode on this issue in general, not only devoted to McNamara but studio-policy overall.
Extra Credits is located on PennyArcade now, since we lost them from Escapist. Check it out.

Realitycrash:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

BreakfastMan:

Still doesn't make it right. Stuff like that shouldn't happen.

OT: Of course the guy wouldn't admit he is a jerk. Jerks usually don't think they are jerks, so I am rather disinclined to trust him on this.

Of course it doesnt make it right, but that doesnt mean we should single out this one studio. And thats exactly what this site has been doing.

There's a whole Extra Credits episode on this issue in general, not only devoted to McNamara but studio-policy overall.
Extra Credits is located on PennyArcade now, since we lost them from Escapist. Check it out.

Nah, I despise Extra Credits with a passion. But kudos to them for drawing more attention to the issue, if theres one thing I learned from the whole Team Bondi affair its that the gaming community is generally clueless on the whole thing, which is kinda surprising.

Im going to go back and edit my post anyway, since I feel like singling out The Escapist was unfair.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Realitycrash:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Of course it doesnt make it right, but that doesnt mean we should single out this one studio. And thats exactly what this site has been doing.

There's a whole Extra Credits episode on this issue in general, not only devoted to McNamara but studio-policy overall.
Extra Credits is located on PennyArcade now, since we lost them from Escapist. Check it out.

Why do you despise Extra Credits?

Nah, I despise Extra Credits with a passion. But kudos to them for drawing more attention to the issue, if theres one thing I learned from the whole Team Bondi affair its that the gaming community is generally clueless on the whole thing, which is kinda surprising.

Im going to go back and edit my post anyway, since I feel like singling out The Escapist was unfair.

*phone rings*
Brendan: Yeah
Steve: Hey, boss. It's Steve.
Brendan: Oh, hey Steve. What-
Steve: Fuck you!
Brendan: Yup, see you at the meeting Steve.
*hangs up phone*
Brendan: What a swell guy.

Realitycrash:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Realitycrash:

There's a whole Extra Credits episode on this issue in general, not only devoted to McNamara but studio-policy overall.
Extra Credits is located on PennyArcade now, since we lost them from Escapist. Check it out.

Why do you despise Extra Credits?

Nah, I despise Extra Credits with a passion. But kudos to them for drawing more attention to the issue, if theres one thing I learned from the whole Team Bondi affair its that the gaming community is generally clueless on the whole thing, which is kinda surprising.

Im going to go back and edit my post anyway, since I feel like singling out The Escapist was unfair.

I have no idea who is saying what here and it is really confusing.

OT: Why are we still giving this guy the time of day? Seriously if we pretty much just stop listening to him he will hopefully go away.

Who has ever walked up to their boss and gone "you're a huge jerk, you ruin our lives, and I hate working for you"? Yeah, I didn't think so.

He's a bad boss, pure and simple. He didn't understand what he was doing and he viewed employees as a resource instead of as breathing, living, feeling individuals.

Jaeger_CDN:

Ghostwise:
Ahaha. That is too funny. People changing their voices and blacking out their faces?! You didn't work for the damned mob you tools! You made a video game.

Problem with that is, sadly whistle blowers are rarely welcomed back with open arms in any industry. It's easy enough to get a black mark put to your name and even harder to get it removed entirely. I'd say that the game development industry in Aussie is small enough that if your name comes up in a bad way you can kiss your potential employment away

yeah but it wasn't even whistle blowing considering the company went under.

-|-:
I'll never understand peoples whining about working too hard or long hours. If you don't like it then find another job where you don't have to - you're not a slave.

...and finding a new job is "so easy".

snfonseka:

-|-:
I'll never understand peoples whining about working too hard or long hours. If you don't like it then find another job where you don't have to - you're not a slave.

...and finding a new job is "so easy".

This. And it's not just a matter of going to get a new job. A lot of people have careers to think about. It's not uncommon for people in the games industry to hear promises of future employment, maybe even *gasp* promotions if they stick it out. But then it's not uncommon for them to get fired after the game ships anyway. It's pretty sad, but the industry is extremely competitive, and just going elsewhere really isn't an option.

guess we'll just have to wait and see what he does with a new team and project...in about 8 years or so

Wait seriously? DEATH is his cutoff point? There are a lot of things that are pretty bad that don't involve death, especially when we're just talking about a job here.

Pretty funny that he just shrugs it off, "oh well no one died so it's not too bad". Jesus, i should hope no one died making a video game..

 

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.