Team Bondi Bites the Dust
Team Bondi, the studio that created L.A. Noire, is being disbanded due to impending bankruptcy. While L.A. Noire sold quite well, it might not have made enough money to offset the huge amount that was poured into its development, both by Bondi itself and publisher Rockstar Games. Perhaps more importantly, Team Bondi's management has a reputation for terrible labor practices and being extremely difficult to work with. Reportedly, Rockstar Games wants nothing more to do with Team Bondi at this point, and the company couldn't find any other publisher who was willing to take it on.
The company's downfall is unfortunate for the lower level employees who hadn't yet been let go by Team Bondi, but there seems to be more than a small measure of karmic justice for the management. Tales abound of perpetual crunch time, 12+ hour workdays, and failure to give credit to many of the developers who worked on L.A. Noir over the years. Bondi's remaining staff, including the managers who enforced these practices, may be joining Sydney production studio KMM, which already houses a number of staff members who quit Team Bondi due to burnout. Can you say awkward?
The Litigation Scrolls
Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson has reported that his company is being sued by Bethesda Softworks (or possibly its parent company, Zenimax) over a trademark that was filed for an upcoming fantasy-themed card game titled Scrolls. Apparently Bethesda's lawyers believe that the title of Scrolls is too close to its trademarked The Elder Scrolls series, and are suing for damages and a change to the Scrolls name. Notch has said he isn't taking this personally, as he believes it's "just lawyers being lawyers." However, he does feel strongly that a card game called simply "Scrolls" being mistaken for a new entry in the open world RPG Elder Scrolls series seems a bit farfetched.
In fact, it's rather disturbing to think what could happen if any one word of the title of a creative work could be considered as a trademarked word in its own right. Would Disney decide to fight Studio Ghibli over The Princess Diaries and Princess Mononoke? What would happen to Dragon Age, Dragon Quest, and Dungeons and Dragons games? Let's hope for the sake of everyone's sanity that this case gets thrown out of court.
The Littlest Half-Life 3 Protest
A couple of my fellow Canucks recently decided they'd had enough of Valve's silence on the development of Half-Life 3. They hopped over the border into Washington State and set up a miniature protest in front of Valve's headquarters, complete with cardboard signs stating that Canada wants Half-Life 3. The protest drew the attention of Valve Director Gabe Newell, who reportedly brought them lunch. There are no reports, however, that anything was actually said about Half-Life 3.
Here's a picture of the two gentlemen with Mr. Newell himself:
The Weekly Dish will be taking a break next week, as I'm going on vacation to lovely Montreal. Never fear, we'll be back on the 26th for more industry news and gossip.
By Becky Cunningham
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*