Things haven’t been going so well for Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream, as the company has been dealing with recent allegations of poor working conditions. Just yesterday, the studio issued another statement on what they think is a “smear campaign” by various media outlets.
However, today, more bad news arrived, in the form of the Paris Council issuing a harshly worded document (via Wccftech). Titled “On the toxic corporate culture of Quantic Dream,” the Council chastised not only the photomontages that circulated throughout the company, but also their use of termination procedures and pressure on employees for “crunch” work. The Council has now asked to be informed of the amount of public funding received by Quantic Dream, with the idea of introducing a reimbursement clause.
To view the full document from the Paris Council, check out below:
Considering that a society can not call itself democratic if it does not place equality and fraternity of its citizens, which is therefore the fight against racism, sexism and homophobia a national as well as local priority and considering attachment from the city to these fights;
Considering the importance (both for the 20th arrondissement, the city of Paris and the entire nation) of a company as innovative and pioneering as Quantic Dream, which can easily qualify as flagship of the video game industry, and therefore of a sector undoubtedly called to gain in importance and volume in the coming years (2.9 billion euros turnover in 2015 for the video game industry, 5000 direct and 20000 indirect jobs);
Considering that, according to recent revelations from surveys conducted jointly by Médiapart, Le Monde and Duck PC, the head of the IT department has come to seize the Prud’hommes, against a practice that could be described as harassment within this undertaking, through very large numbers of sexist, homophobic, racists and anti-Semites photomontages;
Considering that the termination procedures at Quantic Dream are extremely questionable, contrary to labor law, and that all the elements reported by the press seem to testify to a corporate culture that can not be more toxic;
Considering that the pressure for overtime, the remuneration of which is more than the exception of the standard respected, cannot be acceptable and that in the name of “jobs passions”, the creative crunch, a permanent pressuring of low-paid employees tends to impose itself as the “corporate culture” of this sector;
Considering that these arrangements made with the law and the Labor Code at Quantic Dream have been facilitated by the reversal of the hierarchy of standards desired by the executive and the government, with shameless disregard for the many warnings he received from various opposition groups;
Considering that despite its actions, this company benefits from a 20% tax credit, a 20% development cost and many other benefits but it has the obligation to respect the social laws;
Considering that this same respect for social laws does not seem to be a priority at Quantic Dream in light of recent statements and revelations;
Considering that as part of its policy of competitiveness clusters around research and development, the City funded some of their collaborative projects for a budget of 24 million euros from 2008 to 2014, which Quantic Dream was able to benefit from three BAFTAs (the “Oscars” of video games), via research projects such as HD33D, Play All, or Romeo, three projects labeled by Cap Digital that have made it possible to develop technologies related to these successes;
Considering nonetheless that the city should not tolerate that in the use of public money a company may challenge the respect of labor law and engage in acts, racist, sexist, antisemitic photomontages, which should be considered as offenses;
Considering that the same is true of the management of a sector dedicated to develop exponentially, from the vision of the company we carry that the well-being of the employees having to undergo day after day, hour after hour, these behaviors;
Considering that the working conditions of such a French industrial jewel must be exemplary because of Quantic Dream’s place in France as well as internationally, of its importance on culture and practices – especially among young people – whereas this is apparently not the case;
Considering that the City, in its relation to these new so-called “innovative” sectors, must demand respect for the laws and not accept that under the pretext of “innovative cultures” of such cultures illicit toxicities of companies become commonplace;
Considering that the insufficiency of labor inspectors as well as the questioning of labor code undermine the respect of employees and can contribute to the development of these “Toxic cultures” of business;
On the proposal of Danielle Simonnet, the Paris Council expresses the wish that:
– the Paris Council is informed of the amounts received by the Quantic Dream company in the framework of supported Cap Digital and other projects;
– the city finally undertakes a reflection to make binding the aid granted to reimbursement clause in the event of non-compliance with these clauses and the law;
– the mayor of Paris calls on the government to remove postings at the labor inspectorate cease and the number of employees is increased.
We’ll make sure to keep you updated as the story develops.