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McNamara explains L.A. Noire crunch, says reputation of being a “bully” unwarranted

Thursday, 10th November 2011 14:12 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Former Team Bondi boss Brendan McNamara has defending the studio’s crunch time during L.A. Noire’s development, and believes if there was a “smarter way of doing it” all developers should “do it a smarter way.”

Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, McNamara admitted that in order to meet production milestones 110 hour work weeks occurred, but they were never mandatory, and in saying this, he isn’t “justifying crunch.”

“I remember just before E3, there was a story in the LA Times about Naughty Dog working there days straight, and they were walking around like drunks in the office and people were screaming at each other,” he said. “When you’ve been up for three days you do that.

“Nobody stayed up for three days making L.A. Noire. I don’t even think there was an all-nighter on it. I’m not saying that stuff is good and people should do it anyway. But they were doing that, and they said it was going to be like that crunch until the end of the game. In America, people expect you to work hard to see results

“Yeah, 110 hour weeks are tough. But not many people worked 110 hour weeks making LA Noire, I can tell you that. And it wasn’t mandatory. Yeah, it was hard, and it was brutal, but I would say, most of those triple-A games, when you aren’t sure of what the technology is, and you aren’t sure what the process is, it’s going to be pretty difficult. Time’s a finite thing. You can’t extend it forever. We certainly had plenty of time.”

In the interview, McNamara also addressed his reputation as “the bully of the games business” which he said was unwarranted, especially since it was derived from people speaking anonymously.

“When I read about Steve Jobs – I don’t know if you’re reading his authorised biography – I’ve never said anything like that to people,” he said. “I don’t think I am a bully. I’ve got people who’ve worked with me for sixteen years.

“The way I look at it now is that people can say whatever they like, and they will. So I might as well just wear it. That’s where it’s at. The part that annoys me is people do it anonymously. I’d rather they just ring me up and tell me to fuck off, right? Or people want to print your company emails on the internet. I’m like, what is that about? That could happen to any company in the business.

“We had a TV show in Australia, which was showing people who used to work on LA Noire with their faces blacked out and their voices changed. I was sitting there thinking, hang on, this isn’t the IRA.

“They didn’t enjoy working at the place and they don’t like me as their boss. Okay, but we made a video game. I think we made a great video game. It was a difficult and terrible process, but nobody died making it. No-one’s career ended making it either. They’ll happily go on to do bigger and better things, and I’m totally fine with that.

“So I thought that was kind of…. where does this end, you know? What we did was make a video game, and you black out your face and change your voice? If you want to have your five minutes on TV and show your face, I’m cool about it. You can say whatever you like about me.”

McNamara attributed such anonymity to the Internet, where anyone can hop on a forum and claim someone is a “murderer or rapist “, which is exactly what happened to him.

“You can look on the funny side of it, but it’s pretty over the top stuff for somebody who just makes games, right?,” he mused.

Thanks, Develop.

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8 Comments

  1. Christopher Jack

    He does have a point, Australia’s working regulations are incredibly generous with all these unions & what not. I couldn’t imagine anybody working 50 hours+ flat out per week let alone 110 hours, that’s over 4 & a half full-days per week, fucking ridiculous, the rest of that time you’d spend sleeping.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DarkElfa

    From all of us on the PC, we would like to thank you for the extremely late and poorly textured console port of LA Noire.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Maximum Payne

    @2 Its developed by Rockstar Leeds which I they will also porting GTA according to Rumors

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DarkElfa

    Oh I’m sure. But, it’s easier and more fiscally sounds nowadays to develop for the weakest platform and let gravity do it’s thing from there.

    IOW, shit roll down hill.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Zarckan

    Ok so his reputation as a Bully IS unwarranted, but his reputation as a CUNT is extremely warranted.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DarkElfa

    @5, Ha!

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TD_Monstrous69

    When he compared his actions to the actions of Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple, he does have a point. Though the working environment was harsh at Team Bondi, that’s got nothing on working for Steve Jobs during the early days of Apple. Working all night on something just to have your boss tell you it’s crap without even looking at it, and work on it all over again. Last I heard, nothing like that had happened at Team Bondi (though there was something similar). None the less, it still doesn’t excuse it. I hope Brendan McNamara learns from this going forward. Also, I agree with him, his ex-employees should just call him up directly or e-mail him, and tell him to fuck off, instead of hiding behind blacked-out faces and altered voices.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. jnms

    Pretty easy for a bully to say he’s not a bully.

    Fucker…

    #8 3 years ago

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