Quantic Dream, French developer of “Detroit” and “Heavy Rain,” has lost a court battle over employee complaints of harassment.
The news was tweeted by French journalist Nicolas Turcev, and found via a ResetEra forum thread posted Thursday morning.
ResetEra forum member Maxime translated Turcev’s tweets.
“[Quantic Dream] just lost a labor court suit against one of the employees at the heart of the photomontage affair from the beginning of the year,” Turcev states. “The act of breaking the employment contract was requalified as a dismissal without any real and serious cause. The studio can appeal.”
The “photomontage affair” refers to a series of crude and inappropriately photoshopped images of employees, distributed via email.
The January 2018 reports from employees over racist, homophobic, and sexist behavior by Quantic Dream made their way to the French media, and were published in outlets Le Monde, Mediapart, and Canard PC. (Note: Some of the images may be graphic/NSFW on these websites.) Another major complaint were the hundreds of aforementioned photos, originally distributed via email and some of which were later published when the complaints became public.
A further tweet from Turcev notes that two former Quantic Dream employees also attempted to sue for wrongful termination, but their cases were dismissed. One of them has filed an appeal.
David Cage, founder of Quantic Dream, denied the allegations.
“You want to talk homophobia? We work with Ellen Page who is fighting for LGBT rights,” Cage said in a statement to Le Monde. “You want to talk racism? We are working with Jesse Williams on civil rights in the USA. Judge my work.”
Quantic Dream also released a statement regarding the allegations in January.
“Articles published today level various allegations against Quantic Dream, its management and employees,” the statement reads. “We categorically deny all of these allegations…Inappropriate conduct or practices have no place at Quantic Dream. We have taken and always will take such grievances very seriously.
As of April, Quantic Dream is attempting to sue the French media publications Mediapart and Le Monde for defamation, according to a GamesIndustry report.
It is unknown if Quantic Dream will choose to appeal the court’s latest ruling in favor of the former employee.
Quantic Dream did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.