David Cage has responded to allegations of unhealthy studio culture and inappropriate behaviour at Quantic Dream, which he beforehand described as a “smear marketing campaign”.
Printed on this month’s Edge Journal, Cage discusses in depth the corporate tradition of the studio and denies an absence of humility in its response to allegations.
“I do not suppose we had an aggressive perspective,” he stated. “If you’re accused of issues that go in opposition to the whole lot you imagine in, the whole lot you’ve got completed in your life, it hurts. It went past simply attacking the studio tradition.
“In fact, like every human organisation, we aren’t excellent by any means,” Cage continued. “However are we the sort of studio that was described? Our staff have stated repeatedly: it isn’t true. Can we enhance? Sure. Have we made errors up to now? In all probability. However we needed to do one thing about what was being stated. We had been so damage by particular allegations that we all know are improper or false, that we needed to defend ourselves. We wished individuals to listen to our voice.”
Again in 2018, quite a lot of reviews in French media claimed Quantic Dream had a schoolboy culture of racism and sexist jokes. One occasion on the firm stood out specifically: an worker who Photoshopped photographs of his co-workers on to the our bodies of Nazis and semi-naked girls.
Cage notes to Edge these had been “unacceptable photographs” and that the scenario was handled in lower than two hours, earlier than stating: “I don’t imagine we’ve got ever been a poisonous firm.”
He continues: “We’ve by no means held these horrible values. For the reason that begin, 25 years in the past, the corporate has at all times been primarily based on humanist values of inclusivity. We’ve at all times championed range. You’ll be able to see this by means of the video games we make.
“These values are upheld in our firm. Half of our managers are girls. We’ve had LGBT staff current in any respect ranges of the studio since day one. We’ve a excessive retention charge in an business the place turnover is the rule. Time after time, in nameless third celebration surveys, staff state that they prize the ambiance within the studio, the truth that it is a heat, pleasant place to work.”
Quantic Dream and Cage himself subsequently launched lawsuits against the three French media companies who jointly investigated the studio, alleging libel, with mixed success.
Cage now states that anybody sad with the corporate’s tradition would have left.
“Anybody who thought this can be a poisonous place could be gone. And if one per cent of the allegations had been true, it could have been a catastrophe for us as a result of all people would have left. However you’ll be able to see that there was a robust sentiment that the staff wished to face by their studio,” he stated.
Different accusations had been aimed toward Cage himself, claiming he made homophobic and misogynstic remarks within the studio – one thing he additionally refutes.
“I’ve by no means stated and even thought such issues. I totally perceive individuals had been shocked by seeing these phrases, and I’m deeply sorry for the ache and confusion they’ve prompted to girls and the LGBTQIA+ group. The quotes are abhorrent, and they don’t mirror my views, nor the views of anybody at Quantic Dream,” he stated.
Moreover, Cage has responded to claims of crunch tradition within the studio.
“There is no such thing as a crunch tradition throughout the studio. I would not have stated the identical factor 25 years in the past, however since then we got here to know that it’s not one of the best technique. All further hours are voluntary and paid, in accordance with French regulation. We additionally tried to watch out about not spending too many further hours right here, so it stays inside affordable boundaries. And we additionally at all times verify in with people who they do not make too many compromises of their private life. Persons are free to work further hours, and they’re free to say no them. There is not any social stress.”
Cage has defended his proper to deal with critical themes in his work, stating: “I imagine you’ll be able to discuss something should you do it with sensitivity and care”.
“Sure, I’m a white male. I am 53. However I am additionally a author. Can I write solely about 53-year-old white males who dwell in France? Or is not the work of a author to place your self within the footwear of another person and attempt to think about what it is prefer to be them?” he stated.
“Sure, you should do it with excessive sensitivity, however there isn’t a rule saying that writers ought to solely write about themselves. I am additionally not the one one engaged on this script – many individuals learn it, together with girls. We had sensitivity readers, too. It is not simply me randomly writing one thing and publishing it. There is a course of to make sure care.”
The studio’s subsequent recreation will likely be Star Wars Eclipse, revealed final 12 months. The interview additionally notes Quantic Dream is coming into a brand new part as a multi-project studio, so one other undertaking announcement appears seemingly quickly.