Quantic Dream announced Wednesday in a blog post that the company had been acquired by NetEase. The Chinese internet company, which acquired Grasshopper Manufacture in 2021 and made a major investment in Destiny developer Bungie in 2018, previously acquired a minority stake in Quantic Dream in 2019, following the release of Detroit: Become Human.
“We met NetEase about 4 years ago and offered to join us as a minority shareholder in January 2019,” Quantic Dream wrote in a statement. “During this time, we have learned a lot about each other. We started working together on small and large projects, we enjoyed working together and discussed a lot about our sector and our vision for the future. We discovered that we share the same desire to create bold, highly qualitative work that makes an impression.”
Quantic Dream will join NetEase Games, with NetEase becoming the studio’s parent company and sole shareholder. The French game developer and publisher, known for such games as Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human, had previously been run as an independent company since it was founded in 1992. The company, which in 2018 was dogged by allegations of workplace harassment, was exonerated of those charges in 2021.
Quantic Dream maintained a long-running publishing partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment for several years before stating in 2021, due in part to the commercial success of Detroit: Become Human, that the studio would be self-publishing its games in the future. Quantic Dream states that the company, “[...] will still operate independently, maintain the ability to create and self-publish our video games on all platforms, and continue to support and publish titles developed by third parties.”
Quantic Dream revealed the first trailer for its latest upcoming game, Star Wars: Eclipse, at The Game Awards in December.
NetEase is also the publisher of Blizzard Entertainment’s games, including Diablo: Immortal and World of Warcraft, in China. The internet giant recently made investments in a new studio from former Bethesda Game Studios designer Jeff Gardiner and Obsidian Entertainment alumnus Charlie Staples, and recently hired ex-Sega game creator Toshihiro Nagoshi of Yakuza fame and former Capcom producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi.