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Whore Of The Orient team shut down - Report

Whore Of The Orient team shut down - Report

Thu 18 Apr 2013 7:58am GMT / 3:58am EDT / 12:58am PDT
Development

KMM devs laid off after losing publisher for latest project

Kennedy Miller Mitchell, the production studio that snapped up part of Team Bondi's development team after LA Noire, has reportedly closed down its game division after struggling to find a publisher for its latest title.

The news was reported by Kotaku and confirmed by MCV, after they heard from affected staff who told them the studio lost a publisher for its Whore Of The Orient game, headed up by L.A. Noire creator Brendan McNamara, in late 2012.

Now the production company, which also works on films like Happy Feet 2 and the upcoming Mad Max, has apparently done away with its development team.

1

Brendan McNamara

As recently as this April the company had been advertising for staff for a "new AAA title, next gen and narrative action adventure title set in Shanghai in the 1930's, realistic setting and characters."

The blog of a partner to one of the Whore Of The Orient team suggests that redundancies started in December, after Warner Brothers pulled out of the project.

"Our departure from Sydney was not a happy one: [Her partner] had been made redundant by KMMIE as they had recently lost their publisher Warner Bros," she wrote in a blog post that has since been deleted.

"We had only been there for a few weeks and had just signed for an apartment, decorated the place and made ourselves comfortable before they hit us with the bad news. [His] final working day was to be the 21st of December, right before Christmas. Any new deal with a new publisher would come too late (expected: April)."

Her partner's LinkedIn confirms he worked at KMM Interactive Entertainment until December 2012.

It was August 2011 when rumours of an acquisition of Team Bondi by KMM first surfaced, and according to sources was a result of the bad press about working conditions that struck Team Bondi after the release of LA Noire.

"The word is going round that Team Bondi is being folded into Kennedy-Miller Mitchell Films studios," a source said at the time.

"Team Bondi is pretty much doomed after the scandal and can't find any new supporters, so by doing this they can hide their name."

Team Bondi was officially closed up in October 2011, and at the time it was reported KMM stepped in to buy some of its assets.

21 Comments

Paul Jace Merchandiser

945 1,433 1.5
Popular Comment
Maybe it was the title.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Peter Bond Studying Art & Design, University of Bedfordshire

76 19 0.3
or McNamara...

Posted:A year ago

#2

Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios

78 35 0.4
You can't call a video game "Whore of the Orient" It's stupid and not marketable.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 421 0.3
Or it least a large project that needs mainstream publisher support. I'm pretty sure you could call a small budget self financed indie PC title whatever you liked, more or less.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Mike Wuetherick Lead Designer, Super Mega Awesome Games

29 11 0.4
ugh, can't see how something with that kind of name even got greenlit in the first place.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Simon Dotschuweit MD SE / CTO, Dorado Games

26 2 0.1
Yeah wondering as well...

Posted:A year ago

#6

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,199 1,017 0.8
Guess I'm not the only one who wondered how they came by such an unfortunate name...

Posted:A year ago

#7

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,199 1,017 0.8
Addition: I wonder what the reaction would have been like if this was the title of a film however...

Posted:A year ago

#8

Mike Rusby 3d character modeller

21 1 0.0
yeah, horrible, racist demeanaing name. WTF. I am pleased it went down

Posted:A year ago

#9

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,613 1,475 0.9
@ Mike

As Adam asks above, would you have that reaction to a film? And what if the game had had a name-change before release? I'm fairly certain a title this provocative was at least half-chosen due to the publicity it would garner.

Meanwhile, I'm sad that a period-set "AAA... next gen and narrative action adventure title" with "realistic setting and characters" has been canned. Given the scarcity of games that are set in places like the Far East, it's pretty bad to see it go.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,194 1,169 0.5
Amusingly enough, this reminds me of Sony not deciding to localize the wonderful and visually bizarre 4-disc game Kowloon's Gate for the US or Europe. That game took a few years to make (with a pretty big team for the time) and for an early PS1 title was much more impressive to me than some of the games we ended up with (Final Fantasy VII couldn't hold a candle to its art direction). Of course, an arty semi-RPG with a Feng Shui-based combat system and a cyberpunk flair was probably going to fly right over the heads of some gamers, but it was (and is) still a "lost" masterpiece...

Posted:A year ago

#11

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus

459 738 1.6
I won't ever be displeased at anything bad happening to Brendan Macnamara, but it's unfortunate that he has to take so many people down with him.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Mike Rusby 3d character modeller

21 1 0.0
@ Morville. I would still have the same objection. So you think its ok to make a racist nasty title just to garner a little publicity or maybe you don't think the title is that bad ?

Posted:A year ago

#13

Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios

78 35 0.4
Did a search on IMDB, there's about 8 films with whore in the title, most are documentary's showing the plight of real life prostitutes, and some B grade action crap. Think about the publisher, think about the consumer, we can come up with a better title right now. A tale from the Orient, Lady of the Orient etc. (brings a real mysticism to the game, as a consumer I want to know more)

Posted:A year ago

#14
Maybe retitle it as Phroawr of da Orient - that could update it for LOLspeak generation :)

Posted:A year ago

#15

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,613 1,475 0.9
@ Mike

No, I didn't say it was okay; I just said that the title was probably thought of with publicity in mind, and that you can't infer from the name what it would have been like. It could've have been amazing, it could have been shallow tripe. But to say "I am pleased it went down" simply because you hated the name (which could have been changed before release), and when so little was known about it, is short-sighted.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 21st April 2013 4:19pm

Posted:A year ago

#16

gi biz ;,pgc.eu

341 51 0.1
@Adam: It would probably be a triple A porn featuring Rocco Siffredi as the main character and telling his tales as he travels to China and Japan. It could be an explicit version of Marco Polo's story, without the boring parts. Omg I so much hope they make such a movie...! _

Posted:A year ago

#17

gi biz ;,pgc.eu

341 51 0.1
@Mike: many people around here would toss their money at any average to top quality game even if the story was about insulting their mom and sister for 25 hours from the intro to the ending credits. Not everybody, but I suggest you drop the matter.

Posted:A year ago

#18

Mike Rusby 3d character modeller

21 1 0.0
I have made my position clear anyway. I think the name change argument is nonsense quite frankly, it was a very deliberate choice of words and obviously the publisher did n't think too much of it either or it would not have been canned.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Paul Gheran Scrum Master

123 27 0.2
Dear everyone; there is nothing inherently racist or demeaning about the title. Your perception is purely your own fear, inhibitions, and ignorance given voice.

Not being able to look at the product as a whole is exactly why the 'games are an art form' platform will never gain any significant traction. I could go on, but I know it's wasted on this forum of people who think that sexism has something to do with appearance and more obviously, occupation.

I'm ashamed to be in games when I read through discussions like this.

Posted:A year ago

#21

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