Chinese internet company NetEase announced it has purchased a minority stake in Quantic Dream, the French developer behind Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human, as part of an investment in “the development and creation of the next generation games.”
NetEase did not disclose the monetary terms of its investment in Quantic Dream. And the official announcement states that this is to “…further the development and distribution of global online games. Quantic Dream will continue to operate independently under the direction of industry veterans David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière… This strategic investment aims to support the studio’s vision of becoming a global, multi-franchise entertainment company, and to develop advanced technologies and games for the future.”
How the “global online” aspect of this statement applies to Quantic Dream is currently unknown, as while its games have incorporated some online social elements in the past (such as showing how many players chose specific decisions in Detroit) they are largely offline, story-based, single-player experiences.
“With a strong focus on in-house development, we are constantly looking for partners that complement us in the development and creation of the next generation games,” said Ethan Wang, vice president of NetEase, in a statement. “Quantic Dream’s excellence in interactive storytelling and the valuable expertise it has built over the past two decades is exactly what we have been looking for. We are pleased to partner with Quantic Dream and we hope to create incredible game experiences for players all around the globe.”
“The landscape of the gaming industry will go through major evolutions in the coming years, with new hardware to come, new business models to explore and new ways of playing to invent,” added Quantic Dream CEO and creative director David Cage. “We want Quantic Dream to take a key role in this exciting future and having NetEase by our side as a strategic partner will allow us to expand our creative vision and develop the company to its fullest potential. NetEase understands what Quantic is about as they share our passion for high-quality games and our ambitions for the studio.”
The last three games developed by Quantic Dream were all published by Sony and were PlayStation exclusives. With this announcement, it’s unclear if Quantic Dream will continue this trend into the next console generation. NetEase is one of the largest internet and gaming companies in the world and focuses largely on online PC and mobile games. It has partnered with Blizzard to operate Chinese versions of World of Warcraft, Warcraft III, Starcraft II, Overwatch and more.