Sony made a big deal of announcing that it’s investing in Haven Studios earlier today, a new independent studio fronted by Jade Raymond. Having spent time at EA and Google since leaving Ubisoft, Raymond suggested in her introductory PlayStation Blog post that she’s eager to “refocus on games in a place where we can practice our crafts without any barriers or impediments”.
Of course, it’s barely been a month since Stadia shuttered its internal efforts, so this is staggeringly early days. From the developer’s fledgling LinkedIn page, we can surmise that Haven currently commands just four employees, many of whom have followed Raymond from Google (and some even EA before that).
From what we can tell, the team’s been co-founded by Raymond and Paola Jouyaux, a Senior Producer who’s worked on titles like Watch Dogs, Child of Light, and Far Cry Primal. The pair are joined by CTO Leon O’Reilly, who’s previously served as a Technical Director at companies like – you guessed it – Ubisoft, EA, and Google.
The only “new” recruit appears to be Daniel Drapeau, who’s jumped ship from Ubisoft Montreal to work as a Game Director. As far as we can tell, that’s the sum of the studio so far, but it’ll presumably start staffing up relatively soon. Obviously, it’ll take time for the team to establish itself, so don’t expect anything to come out of this for quite some time.
It’s curious that Sony decided to make this news public to be honest. We can’t help but wonder whether all the noise from the Xbox camp convinced it to make an announcement of its own; on the other hand, Raymond’s team will probably be able to grow quicker now that it’s officially announced.
Whatever the case, we’re looking forward to seeing what comes of this endeavour, but it’s going to be a fair few years before we find out.