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Accusations of unhealthy working culture at David Cage's Quantic Dream

Accusations of unhealthy working culture at David Cage's Quantic Dream

After attracting negative press coverage both in the games space and mainstream media for the handling of subject matter in PS4 exclusive Detroit: Become Human, accusations of a seriously unhealthy workplace culture have been levelled at Quantic Dreams.

Reports from three separate French newspapers - Le Monde, Canard PC and Mediapart - paint a picture of a workplace with a schoolboy culture involving sexist and racist jokes. Quantic Dream chiefs David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière are personally singled out for inappropriate behaviour.

There's reference to 600 photoshopped images of staff, which have been around since 2013, which see employees in 'sexual positions' and featuring 'homophobic or sexist slurs'.

One employee is said to have complained about these images at the end of last year, with Cage and de Fondaumière denying all knowledge. Cage is also painted as someone who is hard to work with, often overworking staff and not taking on feedback from his employees. The reports also say that he lacks consideration for female colleagues and has made inappropriate remarks.

Cage has said that the allegations are absurd: ""You want to talk about homophobia? I work with Ellen Page, who fights for LGBT rights. You want to talk about racism? I work with Jesse Williams, who fights for civil rights in the USA... Judge me by my work."

The team has since made a statement via Twitter.

"Articles published today level various allegations against Quantic Dream, its management and employees," it said.

"We categorically deny all of these allegations. Quantic Dream filed a complaint several months ago and further complaints will follow.

"We invite interested parties to read the responses of our Employee Representatives and Health & Security Committee to questions submitted by the journalists prior to publication.

"Inappropriate conduct or practices have no place at Quantic Dream. We have taken and always will take such grievances very seriously.

"We value every single person who works at Quantic Dream. It is of utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making video games."

Quantic Dream is the studio behind the likes of Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls and the upcoming PS4 title Detroit: Become Human.

No doubt the Quantic Dream story is an anomaly, and with conversations in the industry taking place about studio culture and inappropriate behaviour following the #MeToo campaign, we can expect more stories to emerge in the coming years.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.