Quantic Dream, the French studio behind the upcoming cyberpunk thriller Detroit: Become Human, has released a statement disputing allegations of an unhealthy studio culture.
Originally posted in French, the translated statement claims that Quantic Dream is "the subject of a veritable smear campaign by a few media outlets, based on slanderous remarks whose reliability and origin of the sources raise questions.” It goes on to say that legal action will be taken "defend the reputation of our studio."
Quantic Dream maintains unawareness of such issues, saying that "to date, we have not heard of any complaints of harassment and discrimination," before concluding they "are confident in justice and hope that it can be decided quickly, in a calm and peaceful atmosphere."
The allegations referred to by Quantic Dream originally appeared last month in three separate French publications -- Le Monde, Mediapart and Canard PC -- accusing studio leadership, that is to say creative director David Cage and producer Guillaume de Fondaumière, of turning a blind eye to sexist and racist lad humor in the workplace as well as overworking staff.
The reports describe incidents such as sexual misconduct from de Fondaumière in which he forced hemself on staff at company social events and several inappropriate remarks across numerous incidents from Cage. One involved a burglary caught on CCTV. After watching, Cage allegedly asked an employee of Tunisian origin, “Is that a cousin of yours?"
The statement is Quantic Dream's second response to the allegations. The first response they gave was on Twitter, stating,"We categorically deny all of these allegations. We value every single person who works at Quantic Dream. It is of utmost important to us that we maintain a safe environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making video games."
The statement flies directly in contrast with the words of former employees. Fifty employees left the studio in the years 2015-16, says Le Monde. “Some employees, with medical certificate as proof, talk about burn out and depression… One year and an half later, they don’t want to hear again about Quantic Dream.”
Cage on the other hand, actually responded directly to Le Monde's inquiries and was quoted in their initial report. "You want to talk about homophobia?" he said. "I work with Ellen Page, who fights for LGBT rights. You want to talk about racism? I work with Jesse Williams, who fights for civil rights in the USA... Judge me by my work."
And in the meeting room where Le Monde met Cage, as he swore that the studio's culture was nothing like that of a rugby changing room, behind him was a cartoon phallus whose testicles were dropping a fart.