Until quite recently, Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream had only released games exclusive to PlayStation. Founder Co-CEO David Cage has now said in an interview that moving to PC was something Quantic Dream had been "thinking about where we wanted to go with the company for quite some time" and outlined plans for the company's future as a "boutique publisher."
Despite not being a first party studio, Quantic Dream's tight knit relationship with Sony has largely been symbiotic, but earlier this year Quantic Dream released versions of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls on the Epic Game store, with Detroit: Become Human coming soon.
"The landscape would change in the coming years, with the emergence of new platforms, 5G and Cloud Play," said Cage, signaling a move towards a multiplatform strategy for the company. But Cage suggested an even larger leap was to come in Quantic Dream's future. Quantic Dream is pivoting towards being a "boutique" independent publisher, and according to Cage it would "champion originality and high quality, while providing tech and industrial support.” This is all possible through partnership with Netease, a company more major game developers are turning to with each passing month.
With any publishing projects surely a ways off at the time of the announcement, the real question is where can you find Quantic Dream's future projects? The answer, according to Cage is “Quantic Dream is not exclusive to any platform anymore. So yes, unless there are some specific exclusivity deals on a title-by-title basis, all our games will be released on all platforms at launch.”
A major reason Quantic Dream ended its partnership with Sony was so it could have the luxury of working on "multiple games at the same time." However, there is no bad blood between the two. Regarding leaving Sony, Cage said, "They have always been very supportive of my work and we have always been very loyal to them in return. So we had a very open talk about all this, and they allowed us to release our catalog of titles on PC.”
The announcement in June was the first time Cage mentioned going the publishing route, and the recent interview further articulated some of its goals as a publisher. These vast company-wide changes include possibility for Quantic Dream to seek PC storefront exclusivity. Whether its next original IP will be an Epic Games exclusive or an early get for the Stadia storefront is anyone's guess, but Quantic Dream has given itself the agency to work on both at the same time. In its time at Sony, Quantic Dream was always one to take advantage of exclusive hardware and controller gimmicks. Players will have to wait and see if it takes that approach when it comes to video game streaming.
Since the release of Detroit: Become Human Quantic Dream has lost a case against a former employee suing for unlawful termination amid a toxic workplace environment that promoted sexual harassment on a company-wide level. Little has been reported in terms of how Quantic Dream is going to address company culture going forward. It is interesting to see if this affects its viability as a partner in the future.
Detroit: Become Human will become available on the Epic Games Store later in 2019.