Quantic Dream is suing French media over reports of toxic working culture

Quantic Dream is suing French media over reports of toxic working culture

The French studio behind Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain and the upcoming Detroit has taken legal action against local media publications that reported on the alleged toxic working environment at the developer.

That's according to Kotaku, which reports that the studio's chief David Cage has told them it is suing journalists from Le Monde. Mediapart is also being sued, while Canard PC has received "threatening letters".

The first court hearing on the Le Monde case is taking place in June.

This is the first instance that we can think of where a games studio has taken legal action against the media for negative coverage. While suing journalists is hardly a good look for the French game maker after almost constant controversy since Paris Games Week's PlayStation showcase, Quantic Dream must have grounds to contest the allegations made in the report in order to warrant taking legal action.

Where earlier talk of taking legal action could be perceived as a threat to back down, actual legal action is something that is hardly taken lightly.

That said, Cage's defence of the alleged homophobic and racist working environment saying that he has worked with Ellen Page (before she came out as homosexual) and black actor Jesse Williams does come across as a bit 'I can't be racist because I have a black friend'.

Oh, and his 'gay best friend' Ellen Page looked into taking legal action against Cage and Quantic Dream after it emerged that there was a nude render of her character from Beyond: Two Souls in the game's files. Which was totally needless and - let's face it - a bit weird.

The reports of an unhealthy working culture broke in January, with the studio refuting them as part of a "smear campaign" the following month. What motivation several different media companies could have for collectively deciding to slander Quantic Dream is beyond us, however. 

Off the back of this, a debate has picked up on social media about the ethics of buying the upcoming PS4 title Detroit: Become Human. Some have pointed out that by purchasing the title, consumers are in fact funding a potentially toxic working environment as well as the lawsuits against the media reporting on said toxic working environment. 

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.