The three most recent games from French studio Quantic Dream — Detroit: Become Human, Beyond: Two Souls, and Heavy Rain — are all PlayStation exclusives at the moment, but they’re on their way to Windows PC with the help of Epic Games, the companies announced Wednesday at the 2019 Game Developers Conference.
PC ports of all three games are scheduled to be released “later this year,” and each one will be sold exclusively in the Epic Games Store for one year, Quantic Dream said in a news release. The company “partnered with” Epic to bring the titles to PC, according to the announcement. It’s unclear if Epic is funding the development of the PC versions, or if the company merely paid for the timed exclusive on the distribution arrangement. We’ve asked the companies for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.
The news comes as no great shock. In January, Quantic Dream announced that it had taken an investment from Chinese internet company NetEase for a minority stake in the studio. At the time, Quantic Dream executives said they would take their future projects to multiple platforms, suggesting that the company’s long-running exclusive partnership with Sony had come to an end. The wording in Wednesday’s announcement underscored that.
“We are so grateful for twelve fantastic years of collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment and all they have allowed us to create and produce,” said Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière. “With this new partnership with Epic, we can now expand our products to a wider fan base and allow PC players to enjoy our titles.”
Paris-based Quantic Dream was founded in 1997 by David Cage, who directs all the studio’s games and also serves as co-CEO alongside de Fondaumière. The company has a reputation for making action-adventure games in the science fiction genre, with a stated focus on telling interactive stories with branching narratives — although the stories themselves, written by Cage, often leave something to be desired. Quantic Dream’s games are also known for pushing the medium forward on the technical front, with high-fidelity performance capture and impressive visuals.
Following the multiplatform releases of its first two games, 1999’s Omikron: The Nomad Soul and 2005’s Indigo Prophecy, Quantic Dream signed an exclusive publishing contract with Sony in 2006. The first project under this deal, Heavy Rain, was released in 2010 on PlayStation 3. Next up was Beyond: Two Souls in 2013, also on PS3; both were ported to PlayStation 4 before the release of the studio’s latest game, 2018’s Detroit: Become Human.
Sony published all three of the PlayStation-exclusive games. But Quantic Dream is an independent studio, and it appears that the developer retains ownership of the intellectual property for its games — otherwise, Sony would have to agree to the PC versions. (Neither Quantic Dream nor Sony responded to requests for comment regarding their publishing arrangement.) We’ve also asked Quantic Dream for information on who is developing the PC ports, and are awaiting details.