Put this one down as a rumour. A mysterious Twitter persona has spilled the beans on the internal goings-on at Australian studio Team Bondi, the developer behind the infinitely delayed LA Noire. If postings on Twitter account Veracious Shit are to be believed, LA Noire may well be responsible for Rockstar’s new IP – Agent, being exclusive to the PS3.
According to the source, Sony initially funded and was slated to publish the then untitled project by Team Bondi. The studio is headed by Brendan McNamara, the creative force behind PS2 runaway success The Getaway, and Sony wanted in on McNamara’s next project. But after having sunk $20 million and many years into the project with no substantial result, Sony decided to dump the property in 2005, even as Team Bondi started to see a mass exodus of employees, leaving the studio in disarray, the Twitter posts recount.
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McNamara, it was posted, often felt outdone by Rockstar, first with GTA3 when he was working on The Getaway, and later by GTA: San Andreas when he initially started work on LA Noire. Ironically, it was Rockstar who snapped up LA Noire after it was dumped by Sony. But Sony had lost $20 million on the project. Rockstar and Sony later reached an agreement that Sony would not pursue the costs it had incurred in exchange for making LA Noire exclusive to the PS3.
Fast-forward to 2009, and Take-Two in its financial reports announced that LA Noire would be a multi-platform release. That would leave Sony’s $20 million uncompensated; until E3 2009, that is. Rockstar’s decision to go exclusive on the PS3 with Agent, its major new IP, may have sounded like a baffling one, when they could easily sell more than twice the number by making it multi-platform. But the revelations made on this anonymous Twitter account do seem to put the pieces together.
However, all this comes from an unknown source, so take it with a pinch of salt. Make that two. But it certainly is food for thought, and sheds some light on a project that has for years together faded away from public memory. Incidentally, Rockstar recently announced on its official blog that LA Noire will see a “big reveal” via a cover story next month, calling the game “ground breaking and innovative, both in terms of the game’s design and the amazing new technology to support it”.