Detroit: Become Human, the cinematic narrative-driven adventure game where player choice greatly impacts the story, is easily one of the biggest PlayStation 4 exclusives due out this year. However, the studio behind the game has now found itself in the middle of controversy, as Quantic Dream studio head Guillaume de Fondaumier has been accused of sexual misconduct.
French publications Le Monde, Canard PC, and Mediapart published reports of the supposedly toxic culture at Detroit: Become Human studio Quantic Dream. Le Monde claims that Fondaumier, who is currently serving as a producer for Detroit: Become Human, has been known to force kisses on women at company parties as well as engage in other inappropriate behavior.
David Cage, the game’s director and writer of its gargantuan script, has also been accused of creating a toxic work environment. According to the reports, Cage has made racist comments aimed at staff. Furthermore, there was an incident where hundreds of photoshopped images depicting employees in homophobic, sexist, and offensive ways were circulated around the office.
Both Cage and Fondaumier have denied the allegations. Cage has released a statement addressing the issue:
“You want to talk about homophobia? 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.”
While we can’t confirm these allegations one way or another, there is some evidence that does point to Quantic Dream having a less than ideal work environment. In spring 2017, five former employees filed complaints about the photoshopped images. Furthermore, the studio reportedly has a high turnover rate, with some employees describing Cage as “hard to work with.”
Since publishing the report, Le Monde journalist William Audureau has apparently been blacklisted by Sony. Sony itself hasn’t made this clear to Audureau, but rather, some of his sources at the company have revealed this information to him.
If it’s found that there is some truth to the allegations levied at Cage and Audureau, it could result in a major shakeup at Quantic Dream. The controversy could potentially impact the development of Detroit: Become Human, and see the game delayed out of its 2018 release window, especially if Sony decides to remove Audureau and Cage from the long-gestating project.
Detroit: Become Human is due for release later in 2018, exclusively for PlayStation 4.
Source: Game Informer