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Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream ends Sony partnership to go independent

Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream turns 23 this year, and the studio is marking the milestone with a major change. The company announced it’s going independent, leaving behind a long-running partnership with Sony.

The announcement came from a birthday celebration post on Quantic Dream’s blog. The studio, led by David Cage, reflected on its successes over the past two decades before revealing it will start self-publishing its games.

“This new venture will allow us to make decisions in total independence, and to address the technological and strategic opportunities of next-generation platforms,” the post read. “It will also allow us to help other developers, by providing investment and development support, so that they can fully express their talents. We want to support creators of original projects and help them, in turn, to achieve their vision and offer quality, groundbreaking experiences.”

It’s a notable change for Quantic Dream, which partnered with Sony for the past decade. The developer has created PlayStation-exclusive titles since 2010’s Heavy Rain, and the move to independence ties with the success of its most recent exclusive Detroit: Become Human.

“Thanks to Detroit: Become Human, we’ve been able to realize the vision we held dear since the creation of Quantic Dream,” the blog post explains.

Cracks in that partnership appeared in 2019 when the company announced its games would move to the Epic Game Store, making them playable off PlayStation for the first time.

The announcement is somewhat of a blow to Sony, which will release the PlayStation 5 later this year. Quantic Dream remained a consistent source of exclusives for Sony’s consoles, leaving a potential gap in its catalog.

Self-publishing is having a bit of a moment in the video game industry. PlatinumGames recently announced it went independent thanks to a major investment from Tencent. The studio launched a Kickstarter campaign to remaster its Wii U game The Wonderful 101, which shattered its fundraising goals within hours.

Quantic Dream has yet to reveal its next project or what platform it may appear on. The blog post noted that the studio will remain true to its roots in this transition, so its signature brand of interactive storytelling shouldn’t be going away anytime soon.

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