L.A. Noire's most perplexing mystery is how the detective game got made without any of its developers sizing each other up for concrete shoes. Late last month, a story in IGN Australia painted a pretty miserable picture of the working conditions at developer Team Bondi. Now, original author Andrew McMillen has returned to GamesIndustry.biz to reveal some of his whistle-blowing emails.
In the story, we see a fracture begin to form in the developer's relationship with publisher Rockstar when the latter pulled out of E3 in 2010. We read why some environments in L.A. Noire seemed lifeless, and about developers scared to quit before the production wrapped, for fear that they wouldn't received accrued overtime pay.
We're familiar enough with crunch time in the industry, but this sounds like a particularly egregious case. We know we should be able to separate art from its artist but, frankly, stories like this make us appreciate the end product just a little bit less.