Whore of the Orient, that mysterious game by Team Bondi (LA Noire), sounds like it is dead and buried - and has been for a while.

When asked in a Gamehugs podcast (via finder) whether we'd ever see Whore of the Orient, a former producer for the project answered "I don't think so".

"Well Whore of the Orient was the spiritual successor to L.A. Noire," said producer Derek Proud. "We were going to use that tech and we were going to create a game set in the 1930s, maybe 1940s, of Shanghai. Shanghai was the only place in the world you could go to in the 1930s and 1940s if you didn't have a passport. So everybody who was running from something went to Shanghai. The whole city was run by a gangster called Big-Eared Du and it's just the most fascinating time, place and setting.

"And we were creating a game with all of that rich texture to it. And we fought for it. Brendan [McNamara - studio head], Alex Carlyle [design lead], Vicky Lord [general manager] and Naresh Hirani [project producer] all fought to keep that project alive. And I fought, too, it was something we were all passionate about. But in the end, that was the way it went."

That's when interviewer Guy Blomberg asked: "So we will never see that game?"

And Proud answered: "I don't think so. That was one of the games and one of the studios I kind of left right at the bitter end. When we got wrapped-up."

Whore of the Orient had a troubled development and hasn't made any public noise in a while, which never bodes well. The last we heard was in 2013 when a Chinese Councillor was planning a Human Rights Commission case against Whore of the Orient for the use of Orient - a derogatory term - in the title.

That followed Warner Bros. reportedly pulling out of a publishing deal for Whore of the Orient months earlier, resulting in lay-offs and a halt in development.

LA Noire was a high profile Rockstar game released in 2011, and it was good. "A genuinely mature game," wrote Oli in our LA Noire review. But its launch was marred by negative reports of harsh working conditions at Team Bondi, and by reports of a fractious relationship with publisher Rockstar that didn't continue past the launch of LA Noire.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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