Quantic Dream

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Name: Quantic Dream
Date(s): 1997 - present
Profit/Nonprofit: Profit
Country based in: France
Focus: Video Games
External Links: website
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Quantic Dream is a video game developer based in Paris, France and founded by David Cage after working for 15 years as a composer and professional musician. They're known for promoting interactive storytelling and an aesthetic that features a heavily realistic look provided by motion capture.

Works

To date, Quantic Dream has developed five video games:

They also provided motion capture for the 2004 film Immortal.

Controversy

Prior to the release of Detroit: Become Human in 2018, three different news outlets in France published the results of a joint investigation into Quantic Dream's business practices.[1][2][3] The investigation accused David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière of inappropriate behavior toward employees, alleging that they either helped to create an oppressive culture of racist and sexist jokes which involved the faces of staff members being photoshopped onto Nazi soldier and nude porn stars.[4] Examples of these images were published in the Canard PC report of the investigation,[3] lending credence to the allegations.

Quantic Dream released an initial statement regarding the allegations stating that they "categorically deny all of [the] allegation"[5] before releasing a longer statement in February that stated legal action was being taken to "defend the reputation of our studio and to save the jobs" of a studio "in the forefront of its field."[6] Kotaku later reported that Quantic Dream did, in fact, sue two of the three French publications that published the initial articles about their toxic work conditions, marking the first time a game developer sued the media over bad press.[7] David Cage is quoted in the Le Monde article as saying:

You want to talk homophobia? We work with Ellen Page who is fighting for LGBT rights. You want to talk racism? We are working with Jesse Williams on civil rights in the USA. Judge my work.[1][note 1]

Several employees also sued Quantic Dream for the toxic workplace culture uncovered by Le Monde, Media Part, and Canard. In November of 2019, it was announced that the company was ordered to pay a former employee €5000 in compensation and €2000 in legal fees.[8] Quantic Dream, however, categorized this settlement as an overall win, stating that "[t]he ex-employee only obtained compensation of €5000 (plus €2000 in costs) in respect of a 'security obligation': Although these images were created outside of regular office hours and no complaints were made, the company should have anticipated the possibility of said images getting out of control, since they were created on company premises."[9] In the Resetera thread about the case, it was also revealed that Quantic Dream may have conducted their own defense:

When the news broke over a year ago, several french youtubers and "internet personalities" came out defending with all their might the company, explaining to their fans that the whole thing is made up from some former employee holding a grudge against the company. Soon after this defense force started to ramp up, someone leaked a facebook post from Quantic Dream employees asking specific people to make use of their "power to influence opinions".[8]

This post included a link to an @cafegaming tweet with screenshots indicating that popular French Youtube personality Siphano was part of Quantic Dream's efforts to sway public opinion.[10] The court date for their lawsuit against Le Monde and Mediapart is set for early December, although a country-wide general strike may delay the proceedings.[11]

Notes and References

Notes

  1. The original French is as follows: «On veut parler d'homophobie? On travaille avec Ellen Page, qui se bat pour les droits LGBT. On veut parler racisme? On travaille avec Jesse Williams , qui se bat pour les droits civiques aux Etats-Unis. [...] Jugez mon travail.»

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Quantic Dream, un fleuron du jeu vidéo français aux méthodes de management contestées. Posted 14 Jan 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019.
  2. Les errements de Quantic Dream, pépite française du jeu vidéo. Posted 14 Jan 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Drôle d’ambiance à Quantic Dream. Posted 14 Jan 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019. English Translation.
  4. Detroit, Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream loses employment court case. Posted 27 July 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019.
  5. @Quantic_Dream in response to a now unavailable tweet. Posted 14 Jan 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019.
  6. Quantic Dream: allegations of unhealthy studio culture are a "smear". Posted 6 Feb 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019.
  7. Detroit Developer Quantic Dream Sues French Media Over Articles On Toxic Work Conditions. Posted 23 April 2018. Accessed 21 Oct 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Quantic Dream has been condemned by French Court over still ongoing cases of employees harassments & toxic working conditions. Posted 30 Nov 2019. Accessed 4 Dec 2019.
  9. Tweet by @Quantic_Dream. Posted 2 Dec 2019. Accessed 4 Dec 2019.
  10. Tweet by @cafegaming. Posted 15 Jan 2018. Accessed 4 Dec 2019.
  11. France looks set for potentially its biggest strike in decades. Posted 4 Dec 2019. Accessed 4 Dec 2019.