L.A. Noire screenshot
L.A. Noire screenshot

Former Team Bondi head Brendan McNamara has reflected on the lengthy (and troubled) development of LA Noire, stating that the game was "probably too big".

In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, McNamara gave his views on why the delayed title took so long to make.

"It's a huge game – probably too big," he said. "The map's massive, and so that's probably my fault. We had to build a new process to do that. We were a brand-new studio – we had brand-new tools, new technology. We have tools that allow you to build cities now, but we had to build that kind of stuff and make it work.

"Everything from the road network, where all the trolley cars go, all the cables connecting automatically to all of the buildings. The tech was pretty extensive, including MotionScan."

McNamara added that LA Noire required extensive work in terms of pre-production research:

"I'd say the first year and a half – [maybe] even longer – was just research. Newspaper research, guys going over to LA and doing research on the buildings, taking photos, getting all the resources together... We were quite a small studio – 16 people or something – and we had to have all this material so we could start building stuff."

In the same interview, McNamara comments on the final days of the game's production, which led to a massive increase in work hours for the development team. McNamara subsequently received criticism for forcing employees to work under "sweatshop conditions".

"It was a long, painful process, but making games is like making films in that it's a marathon, not a sprint – and some people come into the process not knowing that," said McNamara. "I’'d love to spend more time at home with my family and kids. We run things differently now – we have flexi-hours, for example. But everybody has their view on who's the worst boss in the world, and maybe that's me.

"I've read some amazing things about Steve Jobs in his biography, and I've never seen him get as vilified any way as much as I have. Sam Peckinpah fired [plenty of] people off one movie, and nobody said a thing. Werner Herzog pulled a gun on Klaus Kinski to get him to finish a movie! Obviously I don't compare myself to any of those people..."

VideoGamer.com Analysis

That Werner Herzog story isn't true, apparently. It's still a great movie legend, though.

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User Comments

squidman's Avatar

squidman@ Endless

You lot did vote for it.

But where will it end up in the staff GOTY picks, coming to a VideoGamer.com near you next week. Probably. Maybe.
Posted 22:35 on 05 January 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


The most disappointing, as well! ;) I too felt no small amount of disdain upon seeing it ranked so highly.

That review is the sole instance where I find my own tastes deviating from the esteemed Mr. Kelly
Posted 17:33 on 05 January 2012
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ Woffls

Agreed I was absolutely astonished and gobsmacked to see how high it ranked in the community GOTY as it was my understanding it's pretty much universally agreed it was THE MOST boring game of the year lol
Posted 17:31 on 05 January 2012
Woffls's Avatar


It wasn't too big, it was just too boring. It's possibly the only game I've bought or rented in recent years (excluding impulse purchases in the Steam sale for collection purposes) that I've not bothered completing.

Also, the conversation system is so horrendously flawed that I don't enjoy those bits at all. That compounded with a dull and clinically populated open-world means I don't enjoy.. well... any of it.

Sorry, Mr Kelly ;P
Posted 16:57 on 05 January 2012


That's what she said?
Posted 16:35 on 05 January 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar


And the characters were not.....how can i say.......compelling.
Posted 16:19 on 05 January 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


And the story was 'too weak'. And the gameplay 'too repetitive'. :p
Posted 16:14 on 05 January 2012
draytone's Avatar


I really should get on and complete it, bit of a shame that I didn't feel the need to see it through to the end. I started to get pretty frustrated at the haphazard approach to investigating and interviewing.

Still, it did well in the forum vote for the top ten games of the year.
Posted 14:57 on 05 January 2012

Game Stats

Release Date: 20/05/2011
Developer: Team Bondi
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Third-person shooter
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 895 142
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