'detroit: become human' developer quantic dream acquired by china's netease

The French game developer has been purchased by Chinese tech giant NetEase but will continue to operate independently.

The Paris-based game development company Quantic Dream announced on Wednesday that it had been acquired by NetEase, a technology giant from China that has been pushing for aggressive expansion globally. Headquartered in Hangzhou, China, NetEase marks the first time it fully owned a Europe-based gaming company.

Quantic Dream, which is known for its popular titles like Heavy Rain (released in 2010) and Detroit: Become Human, which debuted in 2018, said, however that it will continue to operate independently despite being acquired by China’s NetEase, The Verge reported. The 25-year-old French gaming company was founded in May 1997 and encountered NetEase in 2019, when they asked the Chinese company to become a minority shareholder.

What to Know About China’s NetEase

NetEase is a major competitor of Tencent, and both companies have been strategically elevating their global expansion efforts as the Chinese local games market sees a slowdown amid stricter regulations, CNBC reported. Tencent has led in the acquisition and investments of international gaming companies, and NetEase is now attempting to catch up by establishing gaming studios in the US and Japan.

While typically focusing on China’s popular PC and mobile gaming formats, NetEase is also expanding into console games. At the moment, mobile gaming remains to be the source of over half of its global gaming revenue. Chinese companies such as NetEase are now looking to markets all over the world after encountering restrictive laws in China that limit the time of those under 18 to play games.

Moreover, games must be approved by regulators in China before being released and monetized to the public. Last year, NetEase Vice President Hu Zhipeng admitted that they are looking to increase their international gaming revenue from just 10% today to 50% in the near future.

The Future of Quantic Dream Under NetEase

While Quantic Dream is the latest addition to NetEase’s roster of investments in the gaming industry, it’s not the first. In fact, in January, it funded a new gaming company called Nagoshi Studio from the former developers of Yakuza. The company was named after the former head and founder of Sega’s Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Toshihiro Nagoshi, Polygon reported.

In July, NetEase also helped form the gaming studio Jar of Sparks from Xbox veteran and Halo Infinite head of design Jerry Hook. The Chinese tech giant also acquired Grasshopper Manufacture.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Quantic Dream explained that it required “larger investments” to continue developing games, fund other studios, and maintain its capabilities as an international publisher. The French gaming company said that NetEase is now “a 100% shareholder of Quantic Dream” but that they would remain independent in their “artistic direction” moving forward. The company, which was founded by David Cage and is now working on a yet-to-be-released Star Wars Eclipse game, also promised its fans and gamers that it would remain the same gaming company they have grown to love in the past 25 years.


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