Quantic Dream refute accusations of toxic corporate culture
French game-maker Quantic Dream have refuted all allegations of inappropriate studio practices levelled against them over the weekend, which include reports of racist and homophobic images being circled around by employees as well as mistreatment of female staff members and actresses.
The allegations, initially made by French publications and then shared wider after being picked up by some English-speaking games sites, are serious and also implicate studio leaders David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière in allowing an unhealthy boyish culture to take over.
Both Cage and de Fondaumière have denied that such a culture exists, deriding comments made by a ‘frustrated’ former employee to Le Monde as nothing but ‘rantings’. However, the reports insist that Cage in particular is an aggressive leader who forces employees to work long hours and has an intransigent attitude.
A former employee said Le Monde in a statement, translated by Eurogamer: ‘David Cage has a very particular viewpoint on how he runs his studio, which in his own words he sees as a private, or a semi-private, space. He feels he has the right to say whatever he wants, it’s his place.’
Cage has also been accused of being disrespectful towards female employees by frequently making smutty remarks and having a lack of consideration for their needs. De Fondaumière has apparently made unwanted advances during staff parties–allegations he described as ‘absolutely false’.
One of the most reported on instances of toxic culture is a supposed folder of around 600 offensive Photoshopped images which feature misogynistic, homophobic and racist themes. One image features a female employee’s face superimposed onto the body of a toned male, with a caption in French which reads: ‘All women are born equal, but the best become whores’. Others reportedly place staff member’s faces onto the bodies of Nazis, as well as adult film actors to depict them having sex.
Quantic Dream issued a statement last night saying that the studio refute the allegations and that they take all staff grievances ‘very seriously’. You can read the full statement below.
— Guillaume:bcom human (@GdeFondaumiere) January 14, 2018
Quantic Dream is expected to release their highly-anticipated interactive drama Detroit: Become Human on PlayStation 4 later this year. Their previous two titles, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls have garnered critical acclaim and broad commercial success.