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Quantic Dream

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Quantic Dream SA
Private
IndustryVideo game industry
Founded3 June 1997; 21 years ago (1997-06-03)
FounderDavid Cage
HeadquartersParis, France
Key people
Number of employees
Decrease 180 (2018)
Websitequanticdream.com

Quantic Dream SA is a French video game developer based in Paris. Founded in June 1997, Quantic Dream has developed five video games: The Nomad Soul (1999), Fahrenheit (2005), Heavy Rain (2010), Beyond: Two Souls (2013), and Detroit: Become Human (2018). Quantic Dream is known for promoting interactive storytelling, with founder David Cage as the primary creative force.

History[edit]

David Cage, after fifteen years as a composer, started writing the concept and story of The Nomad Soul in 1994. He ended up with a 200-page document and sent it to contacts he had acquired during his time making music, who noted that its execution would not be technically feasible. To prove them wrong, Cage hired a team of friends and made an office out of a sound booth, with a financial deadline of six months to come up with a game engine and prototype. In the final week, Cage travelled to London and met with publisher Eidos Interactive.[a] With the project funded and a publisher secured, The Nomad Soul was in full development; musician David Bowie played two characters and created ten original songs. On 3 June 1997, Cage founded the company as Quantic Dream SA; the name draws influence from the term "quantum physics".[1][3][4] The game released in November 1999, selling more than 600,000 copies.[2][5]

David Cage in 2008

In 2004, Quantic Dream provided motion capture for the film Immortal.[6] They followed The Nomad Soul with Fahrenheit, published by Atari, Inc. in September 2005, introducing elements that would endure in their later games—ethical ambiguity, romance, the inability to perish, and interactive storytelling. It received multiple awards and sold over one million copies.[1][7] The same year, Quantic Dream revealed The Casting, a technology demonstration of what could be accomplished on PlayStation 3.[3][8] This preceded the partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment to bring Heavy Rain into existence, marking "something more personal" for Cage.[1] Heavy Rain launched in 2010 to critical acclaim,[9] winning three awards at the 7th British Academy Games Awards and selling a total of 5.3 million copies.[10][11] By late 2011, another deal had been established with Sony.[1] The following year, Quantic Dream showed another PlayStation 3 tech demo, Kara, taking advantage of new investments in motion capture facilities.[8] The second title with Sony was 2013's Beyond: Two Souls, starring actress Ellen Page and actor Willem Dafoe,[4][12] which received mixed reviews from critics and managed to sell 2.8 million copies.[13][14] It was the second video game to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013,[15] the same year that The Dark Sorcerer, a tech demo running on PlayStation 4, was unveiled at E3.[16]

In 2014, Quantic Dream doubled their investment in Vicon, whose motion capture technology was previously used in Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls.[17] The company's fifth video game and third published by Sony, Detroit: Become Human, was announced the year after. Based on the Kara tech demo,[18] it spent four years in development before releasing in May 2018.[19][20] Quantic Dream's most successful launch to date,[21] it has sold 1.5 million copies.[22] Around that time, Quantic Dream employed 180 staff members,[23] five fewer than were reported in 2016.[24]

Controversy[edit]

In January 2018, three French news outlets—Le Monde,[11] Mediapart,[25] and Canard PC[26]—published the results of a joint investigation into the company's business practices, alleging a harmful studio culture, overwork, and sexist or racist behaviour by employees. The reports named Cage and chief operating officer Guillaume de Fondaumière as perpetrators of inappropriate behaviour and overworking the staff. Controversial images exchanged by email and posted around the office included photos of studio collaborators and employees digitally edited to appear as Nazis and porn stars.[27] Cage said the allegations were "ridiculous, absurd and grotesque"; de Fondaumière stated, "I will be extremely clear: it's absolutely false".[23] As a result, Quantic Dream levied a lawsuit against Le Monde and Mediapart, while Canard PC received two "threatening letters".[28] That July, Quantic Dream lost one court case against an employee who left due to the scandal.[27]

Philosophy[edit]

Quantic Dream's video games are written and directed by Cage and branded accordingly, with the purpose of making new intellectual properties.[1][29] Cage has declared that his mission is to evoke emotion through interactive storytelling, highlighting empathy, sadness, and guilt in opposition to frustration, competition, and anger. As such, he described purchasing Heavy Rain as a "political act" that others like it could be made.[30][31][32] The developer strives to appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike,[33] considering video games to be the same as any artform.[4] It is customary at Quantic Dream to develop an engine for each new game, hardware, or platform; Cage believes that, while an engine's methodology can be ported, its code cannot.[1][32] Tech demos have likewise become tradition.[8][16][34] In France, Quantic Dream is afforded a 20% tax break on production costs, without which Cage would move the company to Canada to keep up with the competition.[1]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher(s)
1999 The Nomad Soul[b] Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows[35] Eidos Interactive
2005 Fahrenheit[c] Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, Xbox[36] Atari, Inc.
2010 Heavy Rain PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4[37] Sony Computer Entertainment
2013 Beyond: Two Souls
2018 Detroit: Become Human PlayStation 4[20] Sony Interactive Entertainment

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The year this occurred has both been reported as 1997 and 1998.[1][2]
  2. ^ The Nomad Soul was retitled Omikron: The Nomad Soul in North America, which Cage saw as the publisher's lack of confidence in its marketability and said contributed to its poor sales.[1]
  3. ^ Fahrenheit was retitled Indigo Prophecy for the North American release; Cage accused the publisher of not seeing its market potential.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "David Cage: From the brink". The Market for Computer & Video Games. 28 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b Staff (21 September 2013). "The Making Of: Omikron: The Nomad Soul". Edge. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b Wilms, Elisa (21 May 2018). "Meet the studio behind Detroit: Become Human". IGN. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Batchelor, James (26 October 2016). "Cage: "Games should be about what players feel, not what they do"". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 27 October 2016.
  5. ^ Gibson, Ellie (17 March 2005). "Quantic Dream considers Omikron II". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012.
  6. ^ Murphy, Richard (7 October 2013). "David Bowie cameos and fully-rendered penises - the bizarre history of Quantic Dream". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Fahrenheit". Quantic Dream. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Robinson, Martin (7 March 2012). "Introducing Quantic Dream's Kara". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Heavy Rain for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 4 February 2018.
  10. ^ Dutton, Fred (16 March 2011). "Gaming BAFTA winners revealed". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013.
  11. ^ a b Audureau, William (14 January 2018). "Quantic Dream, un fleuron du jeu vidéo français aux méthodes de management contestées". Le Monde (in French). Archived from the original on 14 January 2018.
  12. ^ Brightman, James (5 July 2012). "Games "will die" if industry doesn't do more to innovate, says Cage". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Beyond: Two Souls for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017.
  14. ^ Caballero, David (16 July 2018). "Beyond: Two Souls reportedly sold 2.8 million copies so far". Gamereactor. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018.
  15. ^ Gaston, Martin (22 March 2013). "Beyond: Two Souls selected for Tribeca Film Festival". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  16. ^ a b Funk, John (11 June 2013). "Watch all 12 minutes of Quantic Dream's PS4 tech demo 'The Dark Sorcerer'". Polygon. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Quantic Dream doubles its investment in Vicon". Vicon. 17 April 2014. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018.
  18. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (27 October 2015). "Heavy Rain Dev Announces Detroit: Become Human for PlayStation 4". IGN. Archived from the original on 28 October 2015.
  19. ^ de Fondaumiere, Guillaume (23 April 2018). "Detroit: Become Human Goes Gold, Demo Tomorrow". PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on 23 April 2018.
  20. ^ a b Cage, David (1 March 2018). "Detroit: Become Human Launches May 25". PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018.
  21. ^ Grubb, Jeff (21 June 2018). "Detroit: Become Human is Quantic Dream's best game launch ever". GamesBeat. Archived from the original on 22 June 2018.
  22. ^ Harradence, Mike (3 August 2018). "Detroit: Become Human hits 1.5 million players". VideoGamer.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2018.
  23. ^ a b Purchese, Robert (15 January 2018). "David Cage and Quantic Dream "shocked" by allegations of unhealthy studio culture". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018.
  24. ^ Inside PlayStation (18 August 2016). Detroit: Become Human - Warum eure Entscheidungen wichtiger sind als je zuvor. YouTube.
  25. ^ Goanec, Mathilde; Israel, Dan (14 January 2018). "Les errements de Quantic Dream, pépite française du jeu vidéo". Mediapart (in French). Archived from the original on 15 January 2018.
  26. ^ Kalash, Maria (14 January 2018). "Drôle d'ambiance à Quantic Dream". Canard PC (in French). Archived from the original on 15 January 2018.
  27. ^ a b Phillips, Tom (26 July 2018). "Detroit, Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream loses employment court case". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018.
  28. ^ Schreier, Jason (23 April 2018). "Detroit Developer Quantic Dream Sues French Media Over Articles On Toxic Work Conditions". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018.
  29. ^ Gibson, Ellie (21 March 2013). "Heavy Rain dev confirms work on PS4 game has begun". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 24 March 2013.
  30. ^ Welsh, Oli (17 February 2010). "Heavy Rain's David Cage • Page 2". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018.
  31. ^ Ingham, Tim (3 March 2011). "Call Of Duty meets Heavy Rain: David Cage to make 'emotional war game'". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011.
  32. ^ a b Staff (2 July 2012). "David Cage on Kara, cinema, and the future of games". Edge. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013.
  33. ^ Gallagher, James (18 March 2011). "David Cage on Heavy Rain BAFTA Award Wins, Quantic Dream's Next Project". PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011.
  34. ^ Hanson, Ben (26 September 2013). "Quantic Dream's Tech Demos And Mysterious PlayStation 4 Project". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 26 September 2013.
  35. ^ Sarkar, Samit (15 January 2016). "Omikron: The Nomad Soul available free in memory of David Bowie (update)". Polygon. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016.
  36. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (17 June 2016). "Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered is coming to PS4 in July". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 18 June 2016.
  37. ^ O'Brien, John (16 June 2015). "Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls are coming to PS4". PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015.

External links[edit]