Many gamers are familiar with Quantic Dream, the French studio behind games like Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. And it’s clear that the company’s upcoming game Detroit: Become Human is also one of the most eagerly-awaited releases on PS4 this year.
However, Quantic Dream has found itself mired in scandal ahead of Detroit’s release this Spring, as accusations of sexism and racism at the studio have emerged in recent days.
As reported on Eurogamer, a recent report in French newspaper Le Mode paints a less than rosy picture of the studio and its founders David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière.
Because not only is Cage accused of being a difficult man to work with (“Sun God” is reportedly one of his nicknames at Quantic Dream), but the studio head apparently is also fond of making off-colour and tasteless remarks, typically of a sexist or racist nature, when it suits him.
More worrying, though, is the fact that a cache of hundreds of Photoshopped images showing Quantic Dream’s staff in sexually provocative poses and featuring Nazi and homophobic content had been doing the rounds at the studio for years, although both Cage and de Fondaumière claim to only have seen a small fraction of these.
Reports of alleged misconduct at Quantic Dream also reveal de Fondaumière to be hitting on employees at social events, something the man has vehemently denied.
Actually, the studio recently put out a statement denying what’s described in the Le Monde article, and its portrayal of the studio as a toxic place to work.
“We value every single person who works at Quantic Dream. It is of utmost important to us that we maintain a safe environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making video games”, said Quantic Dream in a tweet.
Also, studio boss Quantic Dream told Eurogamer people should look at his track record before accusing him of discriminatory practices. He points out the fact he’s worked with actress Ellen Page (who’s fought for the rights of sexual minorities) in his Beyond: Two Souls game, and also with actor Jesse Williams, a man who’s been involved in the fight against racial discrimination in the US, and who features in the upcoming Detroit: Become Human.
Of course, given that Quantic Dream is such a big studio (its employees number close to two hundred) incidents are bound to occur every now and then, and it’s clear that there will always be ex-employees with an axe to grind as well.
Either way, here’s hoping this incident has no effect on the development of Detroit: Become Human, and that Quantic Dream’s upcoming game turns out to be the exciting single player sci-fi adventure many are hoping it will be when it arrives this Spring.