Long-time Sony mainstay Quantic Dream have gone fully independent. Thanks to the baffling success of Detroit: Become Human, last year's PC rereleases of their back catalogue, and a handy bit of investment from NetEase, the French devs will self-publish their own games for the first time in their 23-year history. That probably also means that whatever high-budget, self-important, definitely-not-allegorical tale is brewing behind those locked Parisian doors will likely no longer be confined to PlayStation alone. Pity.
Quantic Dream's co-CEOs David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière announced the news in a lengthy 23rd birthday post. Working under one publisher or another since 1997, they've snagged a couple of particularly good years thanks to Detroit: Become Human and the PC re-releases of their last three games. Now they reckon it's time to try and make it on their own.
The post waxes lyrical about next-gen technologies, artistic expression, and even manages to name-drop David Bowie twice (who wouldn't, honestly), but doesn't go so far as to hint at the Paris-based studio's next project. It does, however, unveil plans to begin offering "investment and development support" for smaller studios.
I'm actually very curious to see how this pans out: Quantic undoubtedly have some phenomenal technicians and artists at their disposal, with access to performers and vocal talent many studios could only dream of. If they can provide all this to unproven new blood, we might see some real gems in the next few years. Of course, it would also require prospective teams be willing to work with a company that reportedly has a seriously racist, sexist working culture - an accusation Cage strongly denied.
Suffice to say, we're not huge fans of Quantic Dreams' line-up of wanky, self-serious cinematic games here at the RPS Treehouse (or whatever we're calling the Edinburgh annexe). To be fair, they're captivating disasters - utterly watchable in that "bad movie night" kinda way. They're truly good-looking games, too, and not even my cynical heart is immune to Bryan Dechart's sassy robot cop.
But I'm not holding my breath for what comes next outta the guy that told Kotaku his story about a violently oppressed class of androids barking Martin Luther King Jr. quotes in one of America's most impoverished cities definitely isn't about racism.