NetEase acquires controversial Detroit: Become Human and Star Wars Eclipse development studio Quantic Dream

The Paris-based studio will remain independent ahead of the acquisition.

Image via Lucasfilm Games

Per an early Wednesday morning announcement, Chinese technology company NetEase has officially acquired video game studio Quantic Dream. The developer’s portfolio of games consists of narrative games Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and many more. Before this acquisition, NetEase had already acquired a minority stake in the studio back in 2019. The Paris-based studio will continue to operate independently, and embattled co-CEOs David Cage and Guillaime de Fondaumière will retain their positions.

Regarding the acquisition, CEO and director of NetEase William Ding stated that the company is “thrilled to embark on an exciting new stage of growth with Quantic Dream, bound by our shared vision, mutual trust, and respect.” Ding goes on to say that the acquisition will combine the “exceptional narrative focus of Quantic Dream with NetEase’s powerful facilities, resources, and execution capabilities.” Cage stated that the acquisition was ”an important milestone […] after a quarter century of complete independence.”

This acquisition comes in the aftermath of the toxic workplace allegations within Quantic Dream and subsequent legal action from the studio against French publications. Investigations from these French outlets had claims of a racist, sexist, and overall hostile and crunch-focused environment in the studio.

These controversies resulted in difficulty in hiring talent for the studio, ultimately affecting the upcoming game Star Wars Eclipse, which reportedly may not release until at least 2027. It’s quite possible that Quantic Dream is hoping that the acquisition will help facilitate development and push that estimated release window forward, given the emphasis on NetEase’s resources and infrastructure.