It seems Sony has lost one of their closest exclusive allies. Chinese publisher NetEase has acquired a minority stake in Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream, and according to founder and creative director David Cage, the studio’s future games are going to be “present on all platforms.” Quantic Dream has done multiplatform games before, but their last three titles have been PlayStation exclusives. Under the new deal with NetEase Quantic Dream will remain an independent company, under the leadership of founders Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière.
David Cage laid out the reason for the NetEase partnership…
"The landscape of the video game industry will go through major evolutions in the coming years, with new hardware to come, new business models to explore and all-new ways of playing to invent. We want Quantic Dream to take a key role in this exciting future and having NetEase by our side as a strategic partner will allow us to expand our creative vision and develop the company to its fullest potential. NetEase understands what Quantic is about as they share our passion for high quality games and our ambitions for the studio."
Meanwhile, NetEase VP Ethan Wang had this to say…
"We are constantly looking for partners that complement us in the development and creation of the next generation games. Quantic Dream's excellence in interactive storytelling and the valuable expertise it has built over the past two decades is exactly what we have been looking for."
The last couple years have been tumultuous ones for Quantic Dream. On the one hand, Detroit: Become Human was the studio’s biggest launch ever and picked up a handful of year-end awards. On the other hand, the studio was recently rocked by toxic workplace allegations, which Cage and Fondaumière have fought back against with a series of lawsuits. After years of cozy PlayStation exclusivity, it’s clear Quantic Dream is going through a period of flux – we'll have to see if they come out the other end intact.
Quantic Dream’s latest, Detroit: Become Human is available on PS4.