Haven Studios, the latest developer to be acquired by Sony, is trying to change the game. The Canadian studio – which has grown at a rapid rate – is not only working on an ambitious live service title for the PS5, but is also aiming to transform the way game development works. If it’s successful, it could have an enormous impact on PS Studios and the industry at large.
After inviting media to its office earlier this week, Axios reports that the developer’s ambition is to create games in the cloud. Its goal is to build tools and systems whereby entire titles can be constructed like a Google Docs project; in other words, changes occur in real-time, and everyone always has access to the latest version. It’s a project that even PS5 and PS4 system architect Mark Cerny has been attracted to.
While infinitely more complicated than the crude example above, the overarching idea is to reduce bottlenecks. Cerny believes it’s important because cumbersome game development practices only hurt projects: “The game ends up not being your best ideas, or it ends up being your ideas but they're not in the best possible form, because it's that really fast iteration that lets you polish it and get it into place.”
By working in the cloud, there’s no need for developers to download enormous amounts of data each time a new build is released – it’s just there for everybody, all at the same time. Haven Studios is even investigating ways Machine Learning can be used to create video game assets, speeding up the entire process so that developers can more easily and freely experiment with different ideas.
All of this, it hopes, will allow it to focus on the most important part: making great games. If it’s successful with its efforts, then Haven Studios could completely transform the way PS Studios, and the industry at large, operates. And ultimately what this all means for us is bigger and better games, developed in a healthier environment, and released on a more sensible schedule.