Here’s a funny story: when I was fresh out of university wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life oh, maybe 5 years ago, I happened upon a game developer in Sydney. It was Team Bondi and they were making, as they described it, ‘GTA set in the middle of last century’. I can’t remember who I saw or even exactly what the role was (no doubt ‘Junior-[insert alternative for shitkicker]‘) but the fact is I didn’t get the job. Thank heavens I didn’t.
Now that L.A. Noire has shipped, and is in fact nothing at all like GTA, IGN Australia has published a riveting expose on what is quit possibly the most exploitative studio in the world. If they’re to be believed, the man above is not only a collosally poor manager, but also a colosal prick. To summarise the article, 100 hour weeks were common throughout the troubled 7-year cycle, the boss was dictatorial despite lacking a clear vision or good management at any level and now 100s of people who worked on the game have not been credited anywhere for the project.
Brendan McNamara takes the cake though when he comments that his only regret is doing it in Sydney. I find it funny that some cocky Brit with one hit under his belt can relocate here, act an atrocious boss, devoid of any talent if the accounts are true, and then claim that the real problem is the Sydneysider work ethic. Fuck him. He rode Sony’s cock to success with The Getaway and even they dumped him for failing to deliver with L.A. Noire. No surprise- between platform shifts, rapid technology changes and the gall for someone in HR to tell me the game was effectively a GTA out of time it’s apparent that vision was clearly lacking throughout.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: L.A. Noire is a bloated, overstuffed monstrosity that wouldn’t have received half its notice had it not coasted on Rockstar’s coattails. Despite that I feel sympathy for the 100s of artists, coders and designers who were mercilessly burnt through by the travesty of management at Team Bondi. According to IGN, many of them will never work in games again solely because of how they badly were ill-treated on this project. McNamara thinks he’d have had it easier had he opened up shop in Canada or the US. Go ahead and do so you talentless tyrant and leave what’s left of Australia’s already-struggling game industry alone.
Working in advertising, I oftentimes see things which may seem strange to the layperson, but make sense to me, since I know how all the convoluted workings behind the scenes. Optus’ short-lived ‘Unlimited’ Moose campaign, for example. This is not one of those times. I’m talking about Fallout: New Vegas, the recently released PC game whose not one, not two, but five individual illuminated panels in North Sydney’s Berry Square boggle me.
It’s unusual for a couple of reasons. 1) You rarely see ‘above the line’ advertising for video games in Australia, unless it’s something like Call of Duty. 2) There is not a single place that sells video games in the centre. Not an EB Games, not a JB Hifi. Not even a K-mart or anything like that.
I wonder which media agency represents publisher Namco-Bandai (yeh, they published it here). Whoever they are, this is the most baffling media placement I’ve seen in some time. Well done, guys. It’s even more questionable since Greenwood Plaza, also in North Sydney, does have an EB Games. It however has no panels advertising Fallout while Berry Square has a staggering five- more if you count both sides of the stand as individual surfaces (how they’re billed). Oddsfish.