Haven Studios PlayStation Sony 1
Image: Push Square

Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios is now officially part of PlayStation. Don’t worry if you’re feeling pangs of déjà vu: this acquisition was, of course, already announced – but now the ink has dried and the deal has closed. And according to a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the “small” Canadian team – which has exploded to 106 employees – is already having an influence on other first-party teams.

A wide-ranging interview with Raymond gets into the nitty-gritty, but formed during the pandemic, Haven Studios is pioneering the possibilities of remote work within the cloud. This makes sense, of course, when you consider that much of the company was formed out of the ashes of Google Stadia’s failed first-party initiative, but its approach is catching the attention of other developers within the PlayStation Studios framework.

In fact, it sounds like Haven Studios is poised to be a true innovator, with even PS5 and PS4 architect Mark Cerny involved. “[Cerny] is one of the main reasons we're investing so much in R&D, and in this very senior engineering team,” Raymond revealed. “It's not just tied to cloud but also some more forward-thinking R&D. I'm not able to say too much now, but that's obviously one of the other things that's been a big attractor and is exciting to our team with PlayStation.”

As for Haven Studios’ actual game, well, it’s part of Sony’s live service push – although we’re expecting more Animal Crossing than Fortnite. Part of its goal on the technical side is to build tools that will allow it to iterate and evolve the game rapidly, without the bottlenecks commonly found in projects of this scale – and with a comparatively smaller team.

The interview makes for an interesting read, although you’ll need your business hat on, because it really does delve into the nitty-gritty of recruitment and management. For example, Haven Studios has a flat hierarchy with just three higher-ups overseeing the entire company – predominantly remotely, as well.

While the mere mention of “live service” will no doubt leave the comments in chaos, it’s fascinating that this relatively new studio is already catching the eye of high-ranking PlayStation employees, and could potentially have an influence on how other first-party teams evolve and expand.

[source gamesindustry.biz]