Star Wars fans coin #BlackoutStarWarsEclipse, vowing to boycott controversial developer’s game
One of the biggest world premieres during The Game Awards festival in 2021 gave us our first look at Star Wars Eclipse, a new action-adventure title set in the world of the galaxy far, far away and developed by Quantic Dream, the studio that brought us Detroit: Become Human in 2018.
The first cinematic trailer was more than enough to hype Star Wars fans and depict some of the worlds David Cage and his team will visit in their next project. But some excitement over it soured as soon as Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier pointed out the controversial developer’s ongoing battle with several French outlets over allegations of workplace harassment and abuse — via a cheeky tweet issued during the Game Awards.
Of course, Schreier wasn’t the only one to direct our attention to this issue. Intense scrutiny was already placed on the Game Awards this year after host Geoff Keighley vaguely hinted to ongoing allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at Activision Blizzard, which was not present at the Game Awards this year. Keighley’s comments were considered far from committal in criticizing the Call of Duty developer directly. As such, many Twitter users and Star Wars fans took up concern with Star Wars Eclipse in light of the renewed focus on workplace misconduct in games.
As of now, #BlackoutStarWarsEclipse is slowly gaining traction on Twitter, with many folks jumping on the bandwagon and claiming they will boycott the new Star Wars game, even though we could still be years away from its release. Here’s what YouTuber Chase had to say on the matter:
Another person recalled an instance in early 2021 where director David Cage allegedly made a homophobic statement, as reported by Fanbyte. That person took to Twitter to emphatically express the opinion, “He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Star Wars, never mind it’s most diverse and accepting era.”
Another person using the hashtag asserted that while Star Wars fans “do want” a game set in the High Republic era, they don’t want it made by a company “that sees women and LGBTQIA+ [people] as lesser.”
Former Quantic Dream employees reported to Le Monde back in 2018 that the workplace is characterized by “a toxic corporate culture,” accusing Cage of making inappropriate comments to female employees and other actresses who appear in his games on numerous occasions. Quantic Dream later won a libel lawsuit against Le Monde, after the publication could not verify its reported claims without identifying its sources. Another libel lawsuit Quantic Dream leveled against French publication Mediapart was not successful.
As for Star Wars Eclipse, the game that’ll be yet another multi-choice button smasher from Quantic, we’ll have to wait and see if Cage and his team can manage to ride this controversy out or at the very least make amends.