This case happened around the same time like a series of articles in the French press alleging that studio manager David Cage had an “autocratic” work style and would frequently make inappropriate, racist or sexist remarks at work. They also reported a “cache” of around 600 Photoshopped images on the company’s servers, which included Quantic Dream employees in sexual positions, incorporated homophobic or sexist slurs, or superimposed on characters wearing Nazi clothing. . The employee in the 2018 case included them as the reasons for his departure.
At the time, Quantic Dream denied the allegations in an official statement, and later sued two of the three French newspapers which printed the allegations for defamation, in the cases which are still pending.
Now, according to GamesIndustry.biz report, the Paris Court of Appeal annulled the old judgment, declaring that the employee was ultimately not entitled to receive benefits. The ruling determines that none of the Photoshopped images in which the employee in question was involved were “degrading, homophobic or racist” as has been alleged. Additionally, contrary to the employee’s initial argument that they were not aware of the existence of the footage until the media reported, the ruling says the employee was included in the emails to. ‘origin when they were broadcast – demonstrating “tacit acceptance” of the content of the image when they were received, the court said.
For the most part, the French court determined that there was no connection between the inappropriate images and the employee’s departure from the company, and the employee must pay € 10,138 (approximately $ 12,000) damages to the company.
Notably, the court made no general and general ruling on the culture of Quantic Dream or the veracity of the 2018 media reports; rather, it focused on whether the employee in question was legally eligible for benefits, given the specific impact on him as an individual. At least one other employee received a separate payment from Quantic Dream in a similar decision, having quit their job after seeing a photographed image of themselves circulating that made them feel as if they were performing a Nazi salute.
In response to the ruling, Quantic Dream released a official statement which seems to make the decision on employee benefits as a judgment on the culture of the studio as a whole:
These objective, factual and verifiable elements, confirmed by the competent judicial or administrative institutions, indisputably show that the allegations contained in these articles were false and likely to damage the honor and reputation of the studio. Quantic Dream has chosen to make these elements public today in order to set the record straight.
Quantic Dream once again reaffirms the values that the studio has always defended in its games and within the company, which are values of humanism, inclusiveness and the right of individuals to express themselves in a unique way. We will continue to defend them with the same passion and determination as always. Quantic Dream remains firmly committed to continuing to work with its employees to create a serene work environment conducive to professional and personal development and the fulfillment of each individual.
IGN recently spoke with Quantic Dream Founder and CEO David Cage, Co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière and director of the newly formed Montreal studio of Quantic Dream, Stéphane D’Astous, on the company’s future goals and ambitions, in which Cage also denied the allegations and a gave a brief overview of how workplace issues might be handled at the new location.
Rebekah Valentine is a journalist at IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.