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LA Noire working practices questioned

Gruelling hours affected dev "sanity".

Accusations have been levelled against L.A. Noire developer Rockstar and Team Bondi for leaving 130 developers out of the game's credits and for enforcing unfair work practices. These include making staff work 12 hour days as well as weekends.

The Sydney Morning Herald heard evidence from the co-creators of L.A. Noire Credits, a website set up to properly credit all the people who crafted the acclaimed detective game.

L.A. Noire Credits wrote to Eurogamer at the beginning of June.

The Sydney Herald heard from a developer who was pressed by his wife to leave Team Bondi after being forced to work up to 12 hour days as well as weekends. He worked at Team Bondi for three years. He left before L.A. Noire was completed and was struck from the credits. "I felt as though my sanity depended on it," he told the Sydney Herald, explaining his reason for going.

"... Most of the people that worked on it will never have proof of having worked there."

Former Team Bondi employee

He described Team Bondi as a "virtually praise-free" and "inflexible" environment.

"There has been a lot of press saying how incredible this is for the Australian gaming industry, since it is the biggest (and most successful) game made in Australia to date," he added.

"But that has come at the price that most of the people that worked on it will never have proof of having worked there (unless they want to pull out a paycheck)."

The upshot is that those 130 staff - more than the entire Eldre Scrolls V: Skyrim team - allegedly left off the credits will have difficulty proving, to the small video games industry in Sydney, their role on one of Australia's top games.

This isn't the first time a Rockstar studio has been linked with shady working practices. Rockstar San Diego, the developer of Red Dead Redemption, was accused by an insider of "deception", "manipulation" and "abuse". That same studio was lambasted openly by the wives of Rockstar San Diego employees about torrid working conditions that included 12-hour days, Saturdays and no holiday or overtime pay.

Rockstar was accused of leaving staff off of credits back in 2006 during development of controversial stealth action game Manhunt 2. There were 55 uncredited staff then, according to a missing credits site.

Eurogamer's L.A. Noire review awarded 8/10.

The first 15 minutes of L.A. Noire.

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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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