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According to an announcement early Wednesday morning, Chinese technology company NetEase has officially purchased video game studio Quantic Dream. The developer’s portfolio of games consists of narrative games Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and many more. Prior to this acquisition, NetEase had already acquired a minority stake in the studio back in 2019. The Paris-based studio will continue to operate independently, and embattled co-CEOs David Cage and Guillaime de Fondaumière will retain their positions.
Regarding the acquisition, CEO and Director of NetEase William Ding stated that the company is “thrilled to embark on an exciting new phase of growth with Quantic Dream, bound by our shared vision, mutual trust and respect.” Ding goes on to say that the acquisition will combine the “exceptional narrative focus of Quantic Dream with NetEase’s powerful facilities, resources and execution capabilities.” Cage stated that the acquisition was “an important milestone […] after a quarter of a century of complete independence.”
This acquisition comes in the wake of the toxic workplace allegations within Quantic Dream and subsequent lawsuit by the studio against French publications. Investigations by these French outlets had allegations of a racist, sexist and generally hostile and crunch-focused environment at the studio.
These controversies resulted in difficulties hiring talent for the studio, which ultimately affected the upcoming game Star Wars Eclipse, which reportedly won’t be released until at least 2027. It’s quite possible that Quantic Dream hopes the acquisition will help to facilitate development and push forward the estimated release window, given the stress on NetEase’s resources and infrastructure.