Quantic Dream has found itself in hot water barely a month before the worldwide release of their newest title, Detroit: Become Human. CEO and founder David Cage has taken both the French newspaper Le Monde and the investigative website Mediapart to court for libel.
Le Monde, Mediapart, and the gaming magazine Canard PC released reports of Quantic Dream’s unhealthy workplace environment. A trove of digitally edited images of employees was found on company computers, featuring employees’ faces edited into sexual and inappropriate photos. Both Cage and co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière claimed to be unaware of the images, but employees said the images were indicative of the culture of the company as a whole. Le Monde reported that the turnover rate of the company was additional evidence of a toxic environment, with a total of fifty employees leaving between 2015 and 2016.
Multiple accusations of racism and homophobia were directed toward Cage himself. Cage has repeatedly denied the accusations. Due to his work with LGBT activist Ellen Page in
Beyond: Two Souls and civil rights activist Jesse Williams in Detroit: Become Human, he claims that his work speaks for itself.
Cage finally decided to sue
Le Monde and Mediapart for their reports, alleging that their journalists are a part of a smear campaign against Quantic Dream. Canard PC has not been brought into the lawsuit.
Hearings of the case will begin in June. This is perhaps the first time a gaming company has taken legal action against the press. Should Cage successfully win the lawsuit, it could set a legal precedent that may change the face of gaming journalism.