Heavy Rain Studio Quantic Dream Loses Employment Case In French Court | Gaming
Quantic Dream, the studio behind titles like Detroit, Beyond: Two Souls, and Heavy Rain, has lost a French labor court case against a former employee. The verdict brings back into question Quantic Dream’s reported toxic work environment that plagued the company earlier this year.
In January, a joint investigation from multiple French newspapers alleged that Quantic Dream had fostered a work environment centering around harassment, sexual harassment, and racism. While Quantic Dream founder David Cage denied the allegations and said he was “shocked” by the suggestion, the studio took the massively unprecedented step of suing the publications that ran the story.
One of the allegations was that the internal office servers held 600 photoshopped images involving employees’ heads photoshopped onto risque or racist images. One employee quit as a result of discovering this, then invoking employment law that allows them to receive unemployment and benefits despite leaving voluntarily. As Eurogamer reports, this process involves showing that the work environment victimizes them and an independent labor board making the final call.
In this case, the labor board investigated the claims and found in favor of the employee. This means that, considering the circumstances, the employee is eligible for benefits despite resigning. Quantic Dream now has the right to appeal.
As the studio continues to deny the initial reports of its work environment and sue publications that claim otherwise, the overturned resignation does little to bolster their case. Other employees have tried to invoke the labor law in their favor, but two were dismissed and one is still in appeals.
Without getting into whether the initial allegations are true or not, I actually find the way France does labor investigations to be pretty interesting, at least from an American perspective.