Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Quantic Dream Suing French Press for "Negative Stories"

As reported by Kotaku, Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain) is suing French media outlets Le Monde and Mediapart and journalist William Audureau for stories that were published in January regarding the developers work environment. Quantic is suing for the negative press the company received. Not long after the stories were published, Quantic denied the content in a public announcement. A month later they retracted the statement and said they would pursue legal action. Canard PC, the third media outlet that published a story on the developer is currently not being sued, but they have received threatening letters.

Kotaku reached out to Canard PC for more details, and the publisher explained that the outlets will now have to verify to a judge that they handled the story in "good fairness." They need to show that they reached out to all parties involved in the story and provided appropriate caution in their reporting. The first hearing is scheduled for June.

This comes at a tenuous time for the developer, with their newest game Detroit: Become Human releasing soon. Given that 3 media outlets confirmed the harassment and over 15 employees came out against the developer, it's difficult to see how Quantic Dream will come out as the "good guy" in all of this. Since the media outlets will be asked to present all of their information, more negative content could be released and further corroboration of the stories from the employees that were harassed. It doesn't matter if the journalists didn't, or couldn't, present Quantic's side in the articles. Even if Quantic "wins" in court, the ramifications will last.

The developers should consider taking a different approach instead of pulling a Channel Awesome. Such as addressing the concerns of their current and former employees, and taking steps to provide a safe work environment. Slamming your fists on the table and shouting "no, we didn't do this" isn't going to solve the problem. When you have so many employees and sources speaking out against your business, there's clearly something wrong. You have to look internally before you can speak externally.

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