Over 75% of the defunct L.A. Noire studio's debt is owed in unpaid wages and bonuses.
Following months of allegations of employee mistreatment and bad management (from publisher Rockstar, no less), the size of L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi's debts forced the ailing studio into liquidation earlier this week. Now an analysis of the papers filed during its liquidation has revealed that most of the company's debt - over 75% - is owed not to corporate creditors, but rather to former employees.
According to Edge, papers filed to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission reveal that Team Bondi's total outstanding debt comes to AU$1,425,156.78 ($1,402,265.97), of which $1,074,283.28 is owed to former employees in unpaid wages and bonuses. The studio's former boss, Brendan McNamara, took the biggest single hit; he alone is owed $102,495.16. Three of his top colleagues, all of whom disputed claims of horrendous working conditions in the run-up to development milestones, are also owed between $99,155.21 and $19,120.17.
On the corporate side, Depth Analysis, a company which is owned by McNamara and was used to develop L.A. Noire's revolutionary facial animations, is owed a total of $145,795.83. Bogus Films, the casting agency run from the same address as Team Bondi, is owed $24,781.75. Team Bondi's accountants are owed a total of $54,427.01.
Although L.A. Noire sold reasonably well and shipped over 4 million copies worldwide, its development was seriously hampered by bad management and employee dissatisfaction. An investigation into Team Bondi's working practices undertaken by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) will hopefully put to rest the arguments over working conditions - but in the meantime, former employees will be left wondering how long it'll take for their unpaid wages to be fulfilled by what's left of Team Bondi's assets.