Video game acquisitions continue: this time it’s French developer Quantic Dream, which has been bought by Chinese game company NetEase.
NetEase, which publishes Blizzard’s mobile game Diablo Immortal, said had acquired the studio behind Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls without disclosing a fee. NetEase originally acquired a minority stake in Quantic Dream in 2019.
Quantic Dream, led by David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière, is now NetEase’s first studio in Europe. “It will continue to operate independently, focusing on creating and publishing its games across all platforms, as well as supporting and publishing third-party developed titles, while leveraging NetEase’s significant game development capabilities,” the company insisted.
Earlier this month, Cage responded to accusations of unhealthy studio culture and inappropriate behavior at Quantic Dreamwhich he previously described as a “smear campaign”.
In an interview with Edge, Cage discussed the studio’s corporate culture and denied a lack of humility in his response to the accusations.
“I don’t think we had an aggressive attitude,” he said. “When you are accused of things that go against everything you believe in, everything you have done in your life, it hurts. It went beyond attacking studio culture.
“Of course, like any human organization, we are by no means perfect,” Cage continued. “But are we the kind of study that was described? Our employees have repeatedly said: not true. Can we improve? Yes. Have we made mistakes in the past? Probably. But we had to do something with what was said.” We were so hurt by the specific accusations that we know to be incorrect or false, that we had to defend ourselves. We wanted people to hear our voice.”
In 2018, various reports in the French media claimed that Quantic Dream had a school culture of racism and sexist jokes. One case at the company stood out in particular: an employee who Photoshopped images of his co-workers into the bodies of Nazis and half-naked women.
Cage told Edge that these were “unacceptable images” and that the situation was resolved in less than two hours, before stating, “I don’t think we’ve ever been a toxic company.”
He continued: “We’ve never had these horrible values. From the beginning, 25 years ago, the company has always been based on humanistic values of inclusion. We’ve always stood for diversity. You can see this through the games we make.”
“These values are upheld in our company. Half of our managers are women. We have had LGBT employees present at all levels of the studio since day one. We have a high retention rate in an industry where turnover is the rule. And again, in anonymous third-party surveys, employees say they appreciate the atmosphere in the studio, the fact that it’s a warm and friendly place to work.”
Quantic Dream and Cage himself subsequently started lawsuits against the three French media companies that jointly investigated the study, alleging defamation, with mixed success.
Quantic Dream remains best known for its 2010 narrative adventure Heavy Rain, released as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. Once a close PlayStation ally, Quantic Dream Announced in 2019 that it would stop developing games exclusively for Sony platforms.
Quantic Dream is currently working on star wars eclipse. At Gamescom last week it announced a publishing deal for under the waves, an underwater story about the pain and preservation of the ocean. Quantum sleep is also reportedly working on a new project based on The Dark Sorcerer, his 2013 PlayStation 4 tech demo.
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