Chinese Internet technology company NetEase, whose video game division has produced such titles as Diabo Immortal, NARAKA: BLADEPOINT, and Marvel Super War, are rumored to be both acquiring Quantic Dream and helping the studio “bring Star Wars Eclipse to life.”
NetEase previously secured a minority stake in the French developer in January 2019 “to further the development and distribution of global online games”.
The studio’s three prior titles – Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human – were all joint-published with Sony Computer Entertainment and remain exclusive to PlayStation consoles.
On March 30th, journalist and leaker Tom Henderson (via Exputer) reported that his sources had suggested NetEase will soon “acquire 100% of Quantic Dream, with an announcement likely to come this summer, sources suggest.”
As noted by Henderson, talks between NetEase and Quantic Dream have allegedly been going on for months, with the latter having reportedly been seeking an acquisition offer after their three-game deal with Sony concluded.
Those “familiar” with the alleged agreement also supposedly told Henderson that the current deal between NetEase and Quantic Dream is similar to the one they had when they acquired No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture in October 2021, with the former providing resource support to the latter in order to help them “bring Star Wars Eclipse to life”.
This rumor would align with a prior report from Henderson which claimed that Star Wars Eclipse had been delayed due to Quantic Dream’s internal engine being unable to handle the game’s scale, failing to produce a playable version even 18 months into development.
The developer was also allegedly seeking over 60 new employees for its Paris office, even amid allegations of a toxic workplace and financial malpractice – at least one claim of which has been legally ruled as libel against the studio by a French court.
Further, this same rumor claimed that the game’s announcement trailer was also intended to not only attract more staff, but to showcase their resources – such as the aforementioned engine – to potential buyers.
Quantic Dream denied the delay, explaining that they “never announced or promised a launch window for the title” and insisting that recent profits and staff numbers were good signs for the studio’s future.
NetEase previously made investments into Destiny 2 developer Bungie and handled the publishing of Activision Blizzard games in China.
NetEase and other Chinese companies involved in gaming may continue to seek ventures outside of China, especially after state-run news condemned Tencent’s Honor of Kings as “spiritual opium” and introduced stricter content regulations for video games nationwide.
This included restricting the play-time for minors of online games to one hour on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays – between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
As of writing, it is unknown if said deal has been finalized. Indeed, if it hasn’t, this very rumor could effect it.
Do you believe the rumor? Will NetEase help or hinder Quantic Dream ? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.