The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has finally made a public comment on Team Bondi, the Sydney, Australia-based development studio contracted to do work on Rockstar Games’ LA Noire. Echoing the sentiments of developers and the community worldwide, IGDA said that the horror stories of extensive crunch times and generally poor working conditions at the studio are "absolutely unacceptable."
Games industry professionals and association members have loudly criticized Team Bondi and its founder Brendan McNamara for the studio’s intense crunch time work policy. Brian Robbins, chair of the IGDA Board of Directors, said the group that advocates for developers plans to "fully investigate" the issues raised by former employees of the studio.
"[But] certainly reports of 12-hour a day, lengthy crunch time, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the individuals involved, the final product, and the industry as a whole," Robbins told Develop.
He added that the IGDA didn’t comment sooner because "they didn’t have all the facts" – or at least didn’t know enough to take a position on the situation.
"We encourage any Team Bondi employee and/or family member to email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments about the recent past and current situation – positive or negative," Robbins added.
Over the weekend stories came out about an allegedly ruthless work ethic at the studio. Some developers claimed that a regular "working week" could mean more than 100 hours at the office.
Founder Brendan McNamara said his studio’s work policies are not unfair.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.