NetEase Games has acquired a minority stake in Detroit: Become Human developer, Quantic Dream.
A press release confirms the partnership "aims to support the studio's vision of becoming a global, multi-franchise entertainment company", but Quantic Dream will continue to operate under the direction of co-CEOs David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière.
"With a strong focus on in-house development, we are constantly looking for partners that complement us in the development and creation of the next generation games," said Ethan Wang, VP of NetEase. "Quantic Dream's excellence in interactive storytelling and the valuable expertise it has built over the past two decades is exactly what we have been looking for. We are pleased to partner with Quantic Dream and we hope to create incredible game experiences for players all around the globe."
"The landscape of the gaming industry will go through major evolutions in the coming years, with new hardware to come, new business models to explore and new ways of playing to invent," added Quantic Dream CEO and Creative Director David Cage. "We want Quantic Dream to take a key role in this exciting future and having NetEase by our side as a strategic partner will allow us to expand our creative vision and develop the company to its fullest potential. NetEase understands what Quantic is about as they share our passion for high quality games and our ambitions for the studio."
"We have been impressed by NetEase's vision, their commitment to quality and innovation and their impressive track-record and know-how in crafting and operating some of the most popular games on the planet," concluded Guillaume de Fondaumière, Co-CEO of Quantic Dream. "Partnering with NetEase will open new opportunities for our studio and strengthen our position as pioneers and innovators."
Last year reports emerged of an alleged culture of toxicity and inappropriate behaviour at the studio, with three major French news outlets revealing, among other things, a host of Photoshopped images of employees in degrading positions – such as having their faces placed on pornographic actors, or to show them wearing Nazi uniforms.
One employee quit the firm as a result of these images – which were freely viewable by anyone at the studio – and took their case to court, enacting the prise d'acte section of French employment law. The court's finding in the employee's favour saw the French studio lose its case, after which the studio attempted to sue French media outlets for breaking the allegations.