Team Bondi to be absorbed into KMM Games?


As the result of the reported fallout between Rockstar Games and Team Bondi over the troubled development of L.A Noire, it seems that Team Bondi may be looking looking to get absorbed into another local Sydney studio, KMM (Kennedy Miller Mitchell) Games.

Verified sources have informed Kotaku AU that McNamara and a few Team Bondi employees were spotted touring Dr D Studios in Sydney. The idea that their old boss may be joining the fray has ruffled a few games developers working at KMM Games as many had left Team Bondi and the company's well publicised work conditions prior to joining KMM. From Kotaku AU...

“Brendan McNamara was seen walking through the buildings of Dr. D yesterday, where Happy Feet 2 is being made,” claimed our source...

According to the source this bothered some Dr. D employees, many of which were ex-Team Bondi employees.

“Because Dr. D is filled with former Team Bondi employees who left due to the abusive work conditions,” the source continued, “this unexpected visit was quite… unsettling — to put it mildly.”

KMM Games was formed for the creation of games-related projects linked to the current films in production by director and producer, George Miller. KMM has studios in both Brisbane and Sydney, and one of their titles in production is the game adaptation of the animated film, Happy Feet 2.

A source close to KMM Games has also told Kotaku AU that it was well known within the company that director and producer, George Miller, is "incredibly impressed" with the work of McNamara and Team Bondi on L.A Noire.

For the full report, head on over to Kotaku AU...


Anonymous's picture

wow- even with McNamara's ego, reputation and history of blowing through money faster than a junkie on payday; KMM would rather work with them than KMM Brisbane.

I guess toxic environments closer to home save on plane fare.

souri's picture

Can anyone else confirm that KMM is closing down the Brisbane studio?

Anonymous's picture

Can't confirm it, but, it doesn't surprise me. They are made up of what was leftover from Krome, right? They weren't renowned for the high-quality of their games, so, I can see the reasoning for shutting down the Brisbane arm due to this; as much as people don't like to hear it or entertain the idea of another Brisbane studio closing.

If they aren't performing and are churning out poor quality titles, no matter what you do to correct it, then it makes sense to rid yourself of the problem as it isn't going to get any better.

Though, I can't help but feel that the motivation for any merger with TB is due to technology foremost, not, due to their "prowess" at developing original IP. They do have a mutli-platform engine, GTA open-world capable; despite the many limitations of it as seen via LA Noire. Then there is Motion Scan. Any filmmaker wouldn't be able to get past the supposed "power" of that in telling interactive stories.

I just wonder what the cost of a merger will be considering the ex-TB employees at KMM / Dr D. That said, this comes as no surprise to me as far as Team Bondi is concerned. It seems by all reports that their options passed LA Noire's release would be rather limited.


Anonymous's picture

I've got alot of mates on the KMM bris team, they have been told their contracts wont be being renewed and last ones finish around October sometime.

The KMM bris team are the Arthur/Pinata/Spyro/GOG team. The were by far the strongest of the game teams at Krome and really mostly made of of really talented hardworking blokes. Sucks that they are getting the arse, but IMHO they will find new jobs easily enough.

As for TB, I have talked to several current and ex rockstar staff about LA Noire. Apparently it uses a lot of Rockstar proprietary tech, I wouldn't' imagine they would be able to bring that tech to any merger.

Anonymous's picture

"The were by far the strongest of the game teams at Krome and really mostly made of of really talented hardworking blokes."

Shots fired. They missed.

Anonymous's picture

That's conflicting, in that a member of the dev team posting via was adamant that their engine was 100% their own and didn't use a single line of code from RAGE -- though, it is listed in the credits; don't recall an explanation as to why.


Sean Edwards's picture

The team have been given notice that there will not be another project for them after Happy Feet 2.

The KMM Brisbane team is made up a of a mix of people with experience from a variety of studios from around the world, many of the staff who joined Krome shortly before its closure.

There are members from Rockstar North, Ex Pandemic staff, Bullfrog, Interplay and Krome, make no mistake it is a very skilled and senior team.

There are a variety of reasons why the Brisbane studio is being closed, none of them are due to performance. The team has completed the HF2 project on time, on budget to a standard KMM and WB are very happy with.

Anonymous's picture

"There are a variety of reasons why the Brisbane studio is being closed, none of them are due to performance. The team has completed the HF2 project on time, on budget to a standard KMM and WB are very happy with."

Well, a quick check via Metacritic - boy, there must be quite a few devs that hate it being brought up - and all the Happy Feet games didn't get past a score of 50/100. Though I'm sure that both KMM and WB were happy with the "performance" in developing this game, the reality is, is that this game doesn't exactly have to be all that great quality wise in order to sell well - kids just don't know any better ;).

It's not the performance in developing this particular title, that would lead to the studio being brought to an end.

Anonymous's picture

Um, what's your point exactly? The Happy Feet games (for the first movie) were released years ago by a different studio.

Anonymous's picture

Ah, what's my point... ? Well, I could explain it to you but my guess is that you still wouldn't get it. Keep on trying though ;)

Sean Edwards's picture

You know none of these people and are just speculating on what you think is happening. These are hard working people including myself that have had several instances of job losses over the years due to studio closures and are lucky to have work.

Do you have a job in the games industry, I suppose you're working on a AAA blockbuster that's going to score 90+ on Metacritic?

KMMG (Sydney) provided the creative direction, if they are dissatisfied with our work as you suggest then they are dissatisfied with their own efforts. We as a team in Brisbane have delivered, never missed a milestone and delivered the 'product' on time.

HF2 is a game for kids it's not going to set the world on fire, it didn't have a massive budget, but it is a project that has provided work for allot of highly skilled and great people that were looking at a very difficult situation. Despite the project being what it is every single person has put allot of effort into making it the best they can with resources they have available to them.

Anonymous's picture

"There are a variety of reasons why the Brisbane studio is being closed, none of them are due to performance."

Can you elaborate on what the reasons for closures are, as opposed to what they aren't?

Sean Edwards's picture

There is no project or funding it's as simple as that, it's the same reason many companies close teams down.

Most publishers will not fund a team to sit around and come up with ideas unless they have a proven hit track record. It is critical to have work to move onto. Everyone at KMM Brisbane was contracted to finish HF2, there was never any promise of work after that. If you don't have a funded project to move onto then there is no money to pay you.

Anonymous's picture

Can someone at KMM games give McNamara the new role he created at TB. You know the one where he paid people like 10 dollars an hour.

Anonymous's picture

Hear hear!

Anonymous's picture

Wow, I feel sorry for the guys at Dr. D. Unpleasant thing to have sprung on them. Wonder whether they'll jump ship again? Better to do it earlier than later...