Quantic Dream, the studio behind Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain on PlayStation, have revealed plans to start shipping games on multiple platforms in the future.
The news comes as Chinese internet provider Netease — specifically, its Games division — invests a minority stake in the company, who saw decent commercial success with Detroit: Become Human last year despite some critical backlash. Netease is the company that invested heavily in Bungie last year, perhaps leading to the Destiny studio's separation from Activision.
According to Variety, Quantic Dream's CEO David Cage will remain the majority shareholder and co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière will continue to manage the studio. Here's a direct quote from Cage as told to Variety:
“There will be no changes with the governance of the company, as the objective of NetEase is to engage in a meaningful partnership with us,” he said. Adding that the investment will be used to support the company’s “vision of becoming a global, multi-franchise entertainment company, and to develop advanced technologies and games for the future.”Becoming a "global, multi-franchise entertainment company" is interesting wording for a studio that has only produced stand-alone titles in the past. It suggests that more long-term franchises with sequels may be planned, and it also suggests that the restraints of remaining PlayStation exclusive have been holding the company back.
In an interview with VentureBeat Cage makes the company's multi-platform future explicit: "We want to keep developing original games in the genre we pioneered, but also expand our audience by being present on all platforms."
Despite bold plans and potential franchise expansions, Cage claims that the company doesn't want to become a "game assembly line" and wants to hold on to its reputation for hand-crafted experiences.
Whether this leads to Quantic Dream titles on Xbox and Nintendo consoles remains to be seen. Netease have a strong stake in mobile gaming, and Guillaume de Fondaumiére points to recent interactive storytelling efforts in television in his interview with VentureBeat. It could be that Quantic Dream want to work on projects similar to Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Whatever happens, it's certainly an interesting time for single-player experiences. With lots of success for PlayStation last year and now large multi-platform investors showing an interest, the future is looking bright for narrative gaming.