Last week we were greeted with some good news as Rockstar revealed that we would be getting our first look at L.A. Noire, a game that has been MIA since Rockstar announced it in 2006. But some may not know exactly how troubled the development of the game has been. We all know that developing games isn’t an easy thing to do and even the best game on the market encounters a few bumpy roads or major revisions but the history of L.A. Noire could almost rival the infamous Duke Nukem Forever.
First off for awhile we knew that L.A. Noire was going to be initially published by Sony but for reasons unknown Sony dropped the game. But thanks to an anonymous Twitter profile, yes I know another “gaming scoop” via Twitter; we have a better idea of how mismanaged L.A. Noire has been at the hands of Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara.
According to Twitter poster Veracious Sh*t (best name ever?) the constant delays of L.A. Noire shouldn’t be that much of a surprise considering the personality and perhaps poor management skills of creator Brendan McNamara. You see, Brendan was the mastermind behind the PS2 game The Getaway. To establish the reason of why L.A. Noire was in the state it was for such a long time, and why Sony dropped it, Veracious Sh*t fills us in on the history of Brendan’s first troubled game: The Getaway.
Now we all know that The Getaway was a GTA-style crime epic that somewhat failed from a gameplay perspective but was pretty sharp as far as the story and production values were concerned. The thing is final product that was The Getaway was a byproduct of GTA3 (at least that’s what Veracious Sh*t says). Initially The Getaway was set to be an open-world racing game set to release at the launch of the PS2. Subsequently the game missed its planned release as the team was unable to create a perfect recreation of London in merely a year, which was absolutely ludicrous to attempt as a PS2 launch game.
But after seeing what Rockstar and Rockstar Toronto created in GTA3 Brendan decided to scrap the initial concept of The Getaway and create a game that would surpass GTA. After Sony tightened the reins on the new version of The Getaway, since it was costing them a lot of money, Brendan left SCEE after the release of The Getaway due to the ever growing conflict between him and Sony management. Thus begins the tale of L.A. Noire.
Despite having ill feelings for Sony, McNamara ultimately signed a deal with his former company at his newly found studio Team Bondi. Once again wanting to one-up Rockstar (more specifically the Houser Brothers) McNamara decided to create an interactive noir experience, something that is a far cry from the gritty heritage of GTA. Development on McNamara’s “masterpiece” began in 2003 and the title was set to have a three-year development cycle to allow the game to meet his high, and perhaps unrealistic, standards.
But after development was going well things fell apart once again: GTA San Andreas was released. Presumably McNamara had a meltdown since once again Rockstar managed to create a product that far exceeded the plans of “greatness” he initially conceived. Veracious Sh*t also informs us that McNamara’s managerial skills were quite lacking as the team often missed milestones and in general McNamara was just doing whatever he wanted to do.
After spending nearly $20 million on L.A. Noire Sony dropped the game and Team Bondi was in disarray with the majority of its initial employees having left the studio. Soon enough Team Bondi and L.A. Noire were salvaged by McNamara’s competitors: Rockstar and the Houser Brothers. In 2006 Rockstar picked up the game and Sony and Take-Two reached an agreement Sony wouldn’t try to get their money back from the game in exchange for an exclusive game (perhaps Agent).
Since Rockstar’s acquisition of the game L.A. Noire has reportedly gone through countless revisions and the company has dumped more money into the project than Sony did. Veracious Sh*t (who I’m going to guess is a former SCEE/Team Bondi employee) has likened the Team Bondi/L.A. Noire situation to the recent goings on at Rockstar San Diego i.e. things are going a bit sh*tty. There’s always a small chance that all of what Veracious Sh*t wrote was indeed full of sh*t but it does fall in line with the small rumblings we’ve heard about the project and McNamara over the years. I’m personally hoping that L.A. Noire turns out to be a unique open world game, and it most likely could be, but I think we shouldn’t get too excited on what we see next month since it could be another Max Payne situation. And by that I mean the project may look good but there could still be some major problems happening behind the scenes.
Wow,what a crazy troubled phase did all this went into.