Whore of the Orient Devs Score $200k From Aussie Gov't

Whore of the Orient Devs Score $200k From Aussie Gov't

L.A. Noire's Team Bondi gets funding for its new crime-drama, Whore of the Orient.

Whore of the Orient

Shortly after launching the critically acclaimed crime adventure L.A. Noire, developers Team Bondi succumbed to the game's tumultuous seven-year development cycle and shut down. However, Australian production firm KMM quickly snapped them up and set them back to work. Back in 2011, they announced their next game, entitled Whore of the Orient, but since then have been silent, except for the occasional layoff. After months of uncertainty, the team has secured $200k in funds from the Australian government to get it back on track.

Last August, Team Bondi revealed a bit more about its upcoming game and the odd title. Set in a 1936 Shanghai, the "Paris of the East", turmoil erupts as China deals with Western influences and new new political forces, while police try to keep the peace. While no details have been released on the actual gameplay, the single screenshot hints at a similarly gritty tone to the studio's previous works.

The funding comes courtesy of the Australian government's Screen NSW program, which funds creative and economic development in New South Wales. Intuitive Games also received money from Screen NSW, a new studio founded by two former Team Bondi developers after they were laid off.

Whore of the Orient is being published by Warner Bros. Interactive and will launch on PCs and next-generation consoles. No release date has been announced.

Source: Polygon

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I'm not really keen on the title, but the setup for this game sounds really nice. I'm hoping they're going to be as anally retentive with detail of 30's Shanghai as they were with 50's Los Angeles. Seven-year development cycle be damned.

Kinda wondering how they managed to get money from the Aussie gov't when they've got a game in development called ...

... Whore Of The Orient.

Bet they had a lot of explaining/convincing to do.

I sure hope this gets made... I'd love to see the PC brigade bitching about the name.

So is that a loan or just donated? Free money is always great, but that would really be something if Team Bondi wound up in the same hole 38 Studios dug themselves into.

1. Is this enough?
2. Okay awesome that they have more money now so they might actually bring out the game
3. WHORE of the ancient.. look I don't mind the title but I am sure some shops might not sell it. I am not prudish but I know America is! That name will be a hard sell to EB and Gamestop. Even if the game has nothing to do with prostitution [does it?]

masticina:
1. Is this enough?
2. Okay awesome that they have more money now so they might actually bring out the game
3. WHORE of the ancient.. look I don't mind the title but I am sure some shops might not sell it. I am not prudish but I know America is! That name will be a hard sell to EB and Gamestop. Even if the game has nothing to do with prostitution [does it?]

Alternate titles.

They did it with movies and games. They will do it with this game. The only place this will sell under the awesome title Whore Of The Orient, which is something you want to have on your shelf, is probably in the Netherlands.

chimpzy:
Kinda wondering how they managed to get money from the Aussie gov't when they've got a game in development called ...

... Whore Of The Orient.

Bet they had a lot of explaining/convincing to do.

With a name like that I can bet the oral argument would be quite... stimulating.

1337mokro:

masticina:
1. Is this enough?
2. Okay awesome that they have more money now so they might actually bring out the game
3. WHORE of the ancient.. look I don't mind the title but I am sure some shops might not sell it. I am not prudish but I know America is! That name will be a hard sell to EB and Gamestop. Even if the game has nothing to do with prostitution [does it?]

Alternate titles.

They did it with movies and games. They will do it with this game. The only place this will sell under the awesome title Whore Of The Orient, which is something you want to have on your shelf, is probably in the Netherlands.

Being from holland we tend to get the usual titles. We would get the "european version" anyway.

But yeah it can sell under another title at EB and Gamestop in america.

masticina:

1337mokro:

masticina:
1. Is this enough?
2. Okay awesome that they have more money now so they might actually bring out the game
3. WHORE of the ancient.. look I don't mind the title but I am sure some shops might not sell it. I am not prudish but I know America is! That name will be a hard sell to EB and Gamestop. Even if the game has nothing to do with prostitution [does it?]

Alternate titles.

They did it with movies and games. They will do it with this game. The only place this will sell under the awesome title Whore Of The Orient, which is something you want to have on your shelf, is probably in the Netherlands.

Being from holland we tend to get the usual titles. We would get the "european version" anyway.

But yeah it can sell under another title at EB and Gamestop in america.

I know we would I live there too :)

Long as it's English the stores really don't care. I mean we had Leisure Suit Larry games on full display among the kiddie games back in the days :D

It is very suspicious that a government that was fanatically trying to ban games actually helps with the development of a game, especially when they push the "moral outrage" button of society. The whole story seems kinda fishy, a government so disconnected from the gaming world suddenly investing in it.

Addition: Also, it seems to try to project an idea of political instability in China, answered by a police state imposition. Order out of chaos.

It's nice, but coming off of Rockstar's money this has got to be chump change. Especially for a developer with many employees to pay, and one whose assets were supposedly liquidated approximately 2 years ago, and for a company who supposedly only managed to survive through the release of LA Noire due to Rockstar's help.

Ok, I'm being pretty pessimistic. But still, this could be all they need to get back on track, who knows.

chimpzy:
I'm not really keen on the title, but the setup for this game sounds really nice. I'm hoping they're going to be as anally retentive with detail of 30's Shanghai as they were with 50's Los Angeles. Seven-year development cycle be damned.

Kinda wondering how they managed to get money from the Aussie gov't when they've got a game in development called ...

... Whore Of The Orient.

Bet they had a lot of explaining/convincing to do.

Not really. The Australian game industry is badly hurting; there's only a handful of known developers that are still surviving compared to what you would find in the US and Canada (also hurting, but not as much.) When one of your most prominent industries is hitting some all-time lows, you're going to be desperate on getting it started up again, sometimes to the point where some questionable decisions are made.

DVS BSTrD:

chimpzy:
Kinda wondering how they managed to get money from the Aussie gov't when they've got a game in development called ...

... Whore Of The Orient.

Bet they had a lot of explaining/convincing to do.

With a name like that I can bet the oral argument would be quite... stimulating.

Yes, no doubt it was quite the display of arousing oratory. No to mention all those cigars getting rolled.

Russian_Assassin:
It is very suspicious that a government that was fanatically trying to ban games actually helps with the development of a game, especially when they push the "moral outrage" button of society. The whole story seems kinda fishy, a government so disconnected from the gaming world suddenly investing in it.

Addition: Also, it seems to try to project an idea of political instability in China, answered by a police state imposition. Order out of chaos.

I thought the ones really pushing against the game rating were in South Australia. NSW was pretty much always on board, more or less.

Antitonic:

Russian_Assassin:
It is very suspicious that a government that was fanatically trying to ban games actually helps with the development of a game, especially when they push the "moral outrage" button of society. The whole story seems kinda fishy, a government so disconnected from the gaming world suddenly investing in it.

Addition: Also, it seems to try to project an idea of political instability in China, answered by a police state imposition. Order out of chaos.

I thought the ones really pushing against the game rating were in South Australia. NSW was pretty much always on board, more or less.

Yep. Or more specifically, it was basically just one guy from South Australia.

A lot of legal matters that fall in the "partly state level and partly federal level" category need the unanimous agreement of the Attorney General of each state. The attorney general of SA at the time happened to have a real bias against gaming and gamers, for some reason. Once he stepped down from the position everything suddenly started moving smoothly, even though his replacement was still a member of the same party.

And the funding here looks like isnt exactly distributed by the government, although it does come from the government. It seems to me that its a "funding for the arts" type program, where the government funds a group of people to promote film/tv/"screen" and that group in turn funds the projects - the actual people deciding what projects to give funds to are probably artsy types rather than politicians.

Russian_Assassin:
It is very suspicious that a government that was fanatically trying to ban games actually helps with the development of a game, especially when they push the "moral outrage" button of society. The whole story seems kinda fishy, a government so disconnected from the gaming world suddenly investing in it.

Addition: Also, it seems to try to project an idea of political instability in China, answered by a police state imposition. Order out of chaos.

Ah ignorance about Australia, how funny.
The Australian government isn't against games. One man (a South Australian minister) was holding it back because he was some religious idiot who didn't understand them (to change laws regarding rating they normally need an unanimous decision), so the federal government said "get your shit together or we'll step in and do it ourselves". Once they said that the states finally got off their lazy asses and worked out the R18+ system which now allows the games US etc have been able to sell.

Screen NSW is the New South Whales division of Screen Australia, NSW was very pro games from the get go and supported R18+ so it makes sense their the first to pull out funding for Australian game devs.

Caffiene:
*SNIP*
And the funding here looks like isnt exactly distributed by the government, although it does come from the government. It seems to me that its a "funding for the arts" type program, where the government funds a group of people to promote film/tv/"screen" and that group in turn funds the projects - the actual people deciding what projects to give funds to are probably artsy types rather than politicians.

Your correct, Screen Australia is a funding system for Australian artists, especially film (although now they include video games). Australia use to be one of the leading nations with movies, we made the first full movie/film (ned kelly), however America as it always does used it's financial might to crush the industry, their favorite trick was buying up all the cinemas and refusing to show any movie that wasn't published by an American corporation (this is before VHS etc), so a lot of Australian film companies went out of business. Since then the government stepped up and has assisted the remaining companies with funds to keep what's left of our local industry and culture going. At one point the government was going to make a law requiring 40% of films shown in cinemas had to be Australian, but hollywood threatened to stop distributing movies here and our government caved in (bloody cowards). I'm hoping that law comes back in the near future, with the net being around Hollywoods threat is worth nothing now.

Sorry about the rant, I did a screen course and the history of our film and screen australia was apart of it.

This is the second (or third) time Team Bondi beat me to a game idea I had!

The first being a procedural police game that took influences from the point and click adventures from the 90's in looking for clues. Much of the gameplay puts heavy emphasis on cutting edge facial animation as a mechanic to spot lying, as through the research of Dr. Paul Ekman.

The next idea being a film noir game set in the height of the era from the height of the craze (1920's to 1950's) that I eventually merged with the first idea.

And now Team Bondi beat me to a game the begins in 1930's Shanghai dealing with internal turmoil and foreign influences soon to consumed by the second World War. The story then shifts through years, war, peace, and regimes as the city crumbles more and more. The lesson of the story and much of the mechanics teach that nothing is permanent, but that some things will always remain the same.

Well, I'm not a game designer any way(maybe not yet!), so I'm looking forward to seeing if it would live up to the vision I dreamt up in my brain.

Price, ease of access (I've bought quite a few niche JRPG titles that have long since been out of print), thats about all the benefits the used game market has for me. A lot of times I just buy a few dirt cheep party games or last year sports titles to game with friends for a weekend.

Caffiene:
Once he stepped down from the position everything suddenly started moving smoothly, even though his replacement was still a member of the same party.

It didn't really go too smoothly though, didn't QLD oppose bring the R18 rating for a little? It didn't do much but I think they were against it for a little.

Uh, 200k is a drop in the bucket unless they're doing a rather low-budget project...

Only in Australia would the government throw money at a project with that title.

Zakarath:
Uh, 200k is a drop in the bucket unless they're doing a rather low-budget project...

The Australian media industry is struggling at the moment so 200k is a lot.

 

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