Quantic Dream Is Under Investigation from Game Workers Unite for Sexual Misconduct Claims
Game Workers Unite and French union Solidaires Informatique are calling for testimonies regarding sexual assault allegations at Quantic Dream.
The game studio behind Detroit: Become Human, Beyond Two Souls, and Heavy Rain has come under scrutiny for a litany of reasons, the largest stemming from stories of a hostile work environment. Quantic Dream is under investigation from a French union called Solidaires Informatique, and labor group Game Workers Unite announced today that they are joining Solidaires Informatique as they probe for further information on allegations of sexual assault and harassment within the studio.
Early in 2018, multiple French news outlets reported results from a joint investigation regarding the male-dominant workplace of Quantic Dream, sharing damning allegations towards management, including and especially CEO David Cage and COO Guillaume de Fondaumière. These stories, sourced from former employees, depicted an unhealthy studio culture plagued by long work hours and inappropriate behavior. Examples of the latter include sexist and racist jokes in the workplace, homophobic remarks, and inappropriate photoshopped images of employees, putting them in sexual positions or “made up to look like Nazis” (via Eurogamer).
While Cage and de Fondaumière have loudly denied all claims, even going as for to file lawsuits against two of the three French publications involved, with Cage saying “I will take all possible legal actions to defend my honor” (via Kotaku), the controversy still follows the studio. Last summer, Quantic Dream lost a lawsuit against a former employee, per Eurogamer. Game Workers Unite and Solidaires Informatique are calling on victims and witnesses to share their stories “regarding the presence of potential sexual predators at Quantic Dream.” Any relevant parties are encouraged by the labor groups to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This call to action comes not long after another example of game workers mobilizing—just yesterday, employees from League of Legends studio Riot Games staged a walkout, protesting studio management’s handling of sexual harassment and discrimination through private arbitration. It also comes after reports of crunch in Fortnite studio Epic Games and Mortal Kombat 11 developer NetherRealm Games.
Chinese company NetEase Games recently acquired a minority stake in Quantic Dream. Meanwhile, David Cage recently celebrated nearly 22 years of Quantic Dream with a series of tweets in which he praises Detroit: Become Human, the game that he himself wrote.