Quantic Dream has been hard at work on Star Wars Eclipse but at the same time has been dealing with several issues behind the scenes. Three French publications — Le Monde, Canard PC, and Mediapart — released reports revealing the studio’s hostile work environment.
In a joint investigation, the reports cited Quantic Dream as “a toxic corporate culture, management with inappropriate words and attitudes, under-considered employees, overwhelming workloads and questionable contractual practices”.
Further allegations against president David Cage and producer Guillaume de Fondaumière revealed the pair were inciting sexist and racist behaviour within the workplace. Paired with HR violations that saw the department breaking employee contracts before their deal was up — a violation of French labour laws and expecting crunch from all employees.
In 2018, Quantic Dream lost a court case against a former employee. The victim was targeted by staff who photoshopped offensive images of the victim, leading to a wrongful dismissal verdict.
Now, the studio is looking to change the culture as it approaches its 25th anniversary.
- Partnering with an LGBTQIA+ organization to advise on authentic representation of LGBTQIA+ characters, stories, and themes in Quantic Dream games. Training sessions and brainstorms have already begun.
- Bringing on LGBTQIA+ representatives to ensure that diverse voices and authentic representation are present at all levels in the studio.
- Hiring a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) leader to the team, with a specific budget dedicated to DEI initiatives.
- Creating and maintaining an equitable workforce. More than 50% of managers at Quantic Dream are women, including production directors, department leads, project managers, and more.
- Signing the Diversity Charter promoted by French organizations SNJV and SELL, the governmental agencies DGE and CNC.
It has been said the studio has struggled with hiring new team members, something that has led to not only boycotts of the studio’s games but also delays for current games. Even with the reception for Star Wars Eclipse being positive, few are looking to join the team.
With these new changes happening at the studio, it is an uphill battle but one to keep an eye on.