Quantic Dream, the French studio behind Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human, are no longer making games exclusively for PlayStation consoles following the announcement that NetEase has purchased a minority stake in the company.
This news brings to an end a partnership between Sony and Quantic Dream that has lasted for 12 years and has brought the PlayStation some of its best exclusives. Talking to VentureBeat about the news of the investment, Quantic Dream co-CEO David Cage (which is a badass name) said:
“We’re very excited to report that NetEase has taken a minority share in the capital of Quantic Dream. This investment will allow us to invest in future technologies and games in order to prepare for the next generation of platforms, with the same ambition regarding creativity and innovation.”
Cage went on to confirm that the investment means that Quantic Dream will now look to expand it’s staff, which currently employs about 150 full-time workers, and that they are currently actively recruiting “talents from around the world”. Following on from Cage’s comments, his fellow co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière confirmed that Quantic Dream would now look to release their games on other consoles as well as the more familiar PlayStation platform. Guillaume said:
“We will continue to work on PlayStation, which is a platform we love and that we know very well, but we will also consider other platforms as we want to make our creations accessible to as many gamers as possible worldwide, regardless of the platform. This is definitely a shift for us after 12 years developing exclusively for PlayStation. But at the same time we have developed engines on PC, Dreamcast, Xbox, PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS4 Pro. Thus, we are confident we can make a smooth transition while keeping the high level of quality that we target for our games. We learned a lot working with PlayStation for so long, and we now want to bring these learning to other platforms.”
This news comes a year after a number of French journalists released the results of an investigation into Quantic Dream which seemed to uncover a culture of overwork, inappropriate behaviour, racism, and sexism at the studio. In the report, Cage and de Fondaumière were both explicitly named as the main targets of the accusations, which they labelled as “ridiculous, absurd, and grotesque.” Quantic Dream actually went on to sue the journalists who published the story as they continued to deny the accusations; a few months later, a former employee who left the studio due to the working conditions actually took Quantic Dream to court and won, so make of that what you will.
When asked about the allegations today, de Fondaumière said:
“We don’t comment on former staff assertions as we have stated before, we categorically refute these allegations. What we can say is that our team has always been and remains united and everyone is thrilled about the recent studio evolutions. We don’t pretend to be a “perfect” company, no company should – but we do work hard and will continue to do so to offer our team an enjoyable working environment and competitive compensation.”
Speaking of both their investment in Quantic Dream and the accusations against the French studio, NetEase’s Simon Zhu said:
“A company of our size and stature doesn’t make investments lightly, and we have of course taken great care in analyzing all aspects of Quantic Dream, in particular the studio culture. This is very important for us, as we take great care of these matters in our own company. We have been able to spend time with the Quantic Dream team, to learn to know the studio culture, and we have seen nothing that points to any of the allegations published by certain press.”
What this all means, ultimately, is that we can expect to see future Quantic Dream titles on the likes of Microsoft and Nintendo consoles as well as Sony’s. That’s good news for gamers, as it means more players will be able to experience the high level of content that Quantic Dream put out, but whether people still want to support a studio that still has such accusations hanging over them remains to be seen.
This news follows on from relatively recent announcements that NetEase are developing the controversial Diablo mobile game and that they have invested in Bungie’s new non-Destiny IP.