Quantic Dream Founds New Montreal Studio, Workplace Toxicity Safeguards Promised

Nathan Birch
Quantic Dream

Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream is officially a transatlantic operation. Today Quantic Dream announced they’re opening a second studio in Montreal, Canada, which will assist the company’s main Paris-based studio in the development of their next AAA project. The new Canadian studio will be headed up by Stéphane D’Astous, who previously founded Deus Ex and Shadow of the Tomb Raider developer Eidos Montreal. D’Astous shared the following thoughts on starting a new studio…

Starting a studio is always a rare and privileged moment, the energy it gives me is unique, even if the work is never finished! Sure, the logistical set-up is demanding, with building the team being the most crucial step, but it’s an exhilarating feeling, I would say. The people at Quantic Dream in Paris help me a lot and I feel very well supported. And that’s important, even if I have expertise in the field, which is why I was offered to join the adventure!

Of course, the founding of a new Quantic Dream offshoot can’t help up but dredge up memories of past allegations leveled at the developer. Back in 2018, reports emerged that Quantic Dream leadership frequently overworked staff and fostered a “schoolboy culture” where inappropriate jokes, racist comments, and low-grade sexual harassment were commonplace. Quantic Dream leadership would later sue the French media outlets that published the reports and maintains the allegations are false.

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That said, in a new interview with IGN, Quantic co-founder David Cage promised employees at the Montreal studio will have tools at their disposal that should help foster a healthy work environment. These include a dedicated HR team that will respond to complaints in a “swift and professional manner” and methods of anonymously reporting issues. Management will also have to undergo harassment training and the company’s culture will be audited by an outside company every year. Hopefully these measures are work as they're intended. Following accusations aimed at Ubisoft Montreal and Scavengers Studio, the last thing the Montreal development community needs is another hostile workplace.

Quantic Dream has not announced their next game, although following an investment from NetEase, they have vowed to self-publish on multiple platforms. You can learn more about Quantic Dream’s future plans in Wccftech’s recent interview with co-founder David Cage.

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