Microtransaction titan NetEase buys Quantic Dream

The rumors were right: Billion-dollar free-to-play giant NetEase has purchased Detroit Become Human dev Quantic Dream, marking its first European studio.

Published Aug 31, 2022 2:08 PM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Sep 25 2022 9:14 PM CDT
2 minutes & 36 seconds read time

The reports were right: NetEase today announced it has purchased Quantic Dream.

Microtransaction titan NetEase buys Quantic Dream 1 | TweakTown.com

It's official: NetEase has bought Quantic Dream. On paper, Quantic Dream is kind of an odd fit for a company like NetEase. The Chinese juggernaut NetEase makes billions of dollars every year from microtransaction-fueled free-to-play online games ($9.8 billion in 2021, to be exact), whereas Quantic Dream's games (Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls, Detroit Become Human, and the upcoming Star Wars Eclipse) are more premium and cinematic-driven experiences.

That being said, Quantic Dream is actually making a game with microtransactions, and it could be a free-to-play title. This would fold directly with NetEase's business model.

NetEase is apparently taking a more Tencent-like approach with the French developer with a greater focus on diversification across different game types. Quantic Dream will retain full independence and creative control over its projects with its leadership fully intact, and the studio says it plans to use NetEase's funding to fulfill its aspirations of becoming an international games publisher.

"In order to continue our development and presence in the world, but also to fund other studios and become an international publisher, larger investments are needed for us to keep building our technology and infrastructure, to deliver ever more impressive next-generation games, to expand our team and to develop several projects simultaneously," Quantic Dream wrote on its website.

Quantic Dream actually invited NetEase to become a shareholder in 2019, and for the past 4 years they have worked with NetEase on projects big and small. It's also worth mentioning this will be NetEase's first European studio.

"Today marks an important milestone for our studio after a quarter century of complete independence.

"NetEase Games values our creative freedom and the drive and passion of our uniquely diverse team. We will now be able to accelerate the vision we share as a group, of creating landmark titles that touch people on an emotional level. We have highly differentiated games in the making and I truly believe that the best is yet to come from Quantic Dream. I am particularly proud that our employees, who were offered a significant share of our capital over the past years, will fully benefit from this acquisition. It is a testimony to our continued commitment to reward all those who have made Quantic Dream the successful studio it is today."

--Quantic Dream's founder, CEO and writer-director David Cage

NetEase is making a big splash in gaming. The company made a huge $100 million investment in Bungie in 2018, and has since opened two new studios:

  • Jar of Sparks, a new studio from Halo and Microsoft alum Jerry Hook, set in United States
  • Nagoshi Studio, a new studio led by ex-SEGA developer and Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, set in Japan

NetEase also recently helped Blizzard make tons of mobile revenues with the massively successful Diablo Immortal.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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