PlayStation acquires Haven, the new studio led by Jade Raymond

ManaByte

Member
Who the fuck is Haven?
 

Reading this just makes me sad. No where do they talk about pushing gameplay innovation. Just cloud and services. No talk of physics, AI, level design thats been stagnant since 2005. Just GaaS, GaaS, GaaS. I would expect this from Ubisoft and Activision trash, but not Sony.

To drive this cloud vision even further, Haven has hired Jalal El Mansouri, who was the technical architect on Ubisoft's hit live service game Rainbow Six: Siege before also joining Google in a similar role.

"Jalal joined us two weeks ago now to be principle architect for the studio, and also head of R&D. He's really going to be working with Leon [O'Reilly], our CTO, on shaping this vision. Both things that are going to be short term critical to operate our first game in a more efficient way, and then also some more forward-thinking stuff that we think will pay off, which is worth investing in now."
Haven is aiming to be a studio built for the modern world of games development. It was formed during a pandemic, with staff working remotely, and by people who know a thing or two about cloud technology.

And the company's R&D work has also caught the attention of Mark Cerny, the lead system architect behind PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, although this isn't necessarily related to the cloud.
"So [Mark Cerny] is one of the main reasons we're investing so much in R&D, and in this very senior engineering team," Raymond teases. "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. Of course Mark Cerny is kind of like a rockstar, too, so being able to collaborate with him is really exciting.
"And the fact that Jalal is joining... there are a lot of bold ideas that we're looking forward to exploring."


I just hope they'll provide something thats worth the deal and effort

Reading those quotes sure sounds like bullshit bingo and stuff I dislike.
I'll give them a small benefit of a doubt.
But all that stuff doesn't sound good to me.
Not a fan of this GaaS shit anyways. At least not the way most other developers are doing it.

Want me to spent more time and money in your game? Improve those games continually without pay 2 win / pay 2 progress scam shops. And make good/worhtwile improvements to gameplay and content. Not some filler junk ass shit and assets.
 
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mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
They must have showed them a really impressive concept/prototype, and it's an investment in the people who work for them. I'll agree it's risky.

Exactly! Not sure why some here are mad at the purchase before we have enough information. It's a nothing burger at the moment. Can't say it's a good or bad purchase yet. Time will tell.
 

HTK

Member
Buying a studio with zero output and no track record whatsoever, pretty wild.
Not really. Gaming Industry among developers is pretty small. It's hard to get good talent and I think some of these studios have a lot of good talent. Look at Bungie and how Sony shelled out a lot of cash over time so the talent remains there.
 

Lady Jane

Banned
As much as I would love to see more women in the video game industry, I don't know why they choose to be involved in the most boring/generic games possible. Her and Bonnie Ross. After AC, Raymond worked on Splinter Cell: Blacklists, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4, and EA's Star Wars: Battlefront II, then worked for Google on Stadia. Not a bad resume but what a boring one it is. The gaming industry would not be any different without out these games. When is she going to work on something that isn't ultra fluff?

It'll be interesting to see what she does under Sony but it wouldn't surprise me if it's a TLOU spinoff or something.
 
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For starters, it's a company filled with established talent, not just Raymond but a whole number of experienced names who were behind major hits such as Assassin's Creed and Rainbow Six: Siege.
The developer now has 106 employees -- a rise over more than 50 since October last year -- so it's certainly no small indie team anymore.
"We already mentioned that we built the studio in a cloud and that was our vision since we started during the pandemic," Raymond tells us. "We didn't have offices at first and we thought why not innovate here and avoid people having these big machines and VPNing in?

"We had a cloud team initially that was about six people working on new ways to work. Now, we've just welcomed another 21 engineers to focus on long-term cloud innovation, because we really believe it's going to be a game changer in terms of how games are made."
"Our initial part of 'studio in the cloud' was really a focus on starting-up and building tools and the general things to get people working from home really quickly. Now we're looking at the next step: how do we innovate in terms of certain modules that the live service and engine needs, and how do we do those things in a more scalable way that will really enable us to have a more rapidly evolving game and more productive people? That's the dream.
"The downside of starting a new studio is you have to start everything from scratch," Raymond says "The plus side is you get to think: 'Is there a better way to do this?' We started a studio without a physical building, or local servers, so we had the opportunity to go: 'is there a different way we can do this that's more efficient?' One of the things I've heard from a lot of devs in the industry during the pandemic is that they've had to really grow their IT teams to support all the people with multiple machines working from home, and trying to dial in on VPN and get access. We have zero IT in the studio because we've automated everything in the cloud. There are things like that where we're already seeing the pay off, and that's why we've decided to invest more."

It's this approach that has caught the attention of PlayStation's other studios. Haven's CTO has been speaking to Sony's other teams about what it has been doing from a technical and cloud perspective, which Raymond says has been "super fulfilling" for the team.

And the company's R&D work has also caught the attention of Mark Cerny, the lead system architect behind PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, although this isn't necessarily related to the cloud.

"So [Mark Cerny] is one of the main reasons we're investing so much in R&D, and in this very senior engineering team," Raymond teases. "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. Of course Mark Cerny is kind of like a rockstar, too, so being able to collaborate with him is really exciting.
For example, Haven was built with the idea of having a flat structure. The company is full of veterans from AAA teams, and they understandably wanted to avoid the corporate structures that they've had to endure in the past, where there were multiple layers of management to go through. However, that means Haven has just three managers, who are now looking after over 100 employees.
GamesIndustry.biz

I'm curious to see what they are working on. As usual, it's great to see how all Sony studios communicate with each other and learn from each other.

It also seems like Haven is taking a lot of the senior talent from Ubisoft., just like there's another one that has a lot of COD senior staff.

Exciting times ahead for Playstation studios.
 

Buggy Loop

Gold Member
Well, she has produced successful games. But I think producers are overrated, particularly in videogames.

Gotta agree. There’s such a big team behind a project. Putting Jade as the forefront of Assassin’s Creed is a slap in the face of the old Ubisoft Montreal team (and that team has not been the OG since a long time).

Never understood the producer praise, like ever, even for movies.
 

clarky

Member
Yeah not sure about this one. All of the games on her CV are mediocre at best and this studio hadn't been around 5 minutes.

Expect Hero shooter 1543 filed with MTX in about 5 years, them closure when it fails.

Fair play to her hustle though cant fault it so far.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
You know when I first read the thread title I thought it meant that Sony had picked up the creators of Haven (and Furi)


And was like "cool they picked up someone with obvious promise" imagine my utter instant despair when it turned out to just be anouther "GAAS GAAS GAAS CLOUD NFT GAAAAAAAAAAAAAS" squad that have provided nothing but is exactly the sort of BS that Sony have stated they want to focus on in the future.

Remember the PS3 era where Microsoft marketed with how smug and full of them selves Sony had become? Or the reverse during PS4? It seems the cycle continues and these purchases are laying the foundations for that incoming result.
 
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Flutta

My tears. Exclusive to gamepass. Forever.
Not sure why Sony aqcuired them. Its an unpoven studio that havent released a game yet.

Weird get tbh.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
Their game better not stinks hardcore after all those years of overhyping shit and blahblah city

Considering her prior role was helping bringing revolutionary games to Google Stadia, I don't think you have to worry about them releasing any games...
 
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Varteras

Gold Member
You are clueless if you think that Jade had the absolute power over the Google Stadia brand.
Pump the hate brakes, bitch. I was just posting a Letterkenny clip to your comment because it reminded me of it. Twas for a laugh. Untwist your panties from out of your cornhole and maybe you'll be comfortable enough for a chuckle.
 

GHound

Member
Can I get some cool games?
Sony: Live service games? I've gotcha bro!
Nonononononono, cool games. Exciting games!
Sony: GaaS GaaS GaaS:messenger_musical:
Tom And Jerry Pain GIF by Boomerang Official
 

SSfox

Member
Pump the hate brakes, bitch. I was just posting a Letterkenny clip to your comment because it reminded me of it. Twas for a laugh. Untwist your panties from out of your cornhole and maybe you'll be comfortable enough for a chuckle.
No hate bro, i sware. Sorry if it seemed so.
 
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Buying a studio with zero output and no track record whatsoever, pretty wild.

Not if you have proven to have one of best, if not the best production pipeline in the industry. It makes sense, business wise, and does not disrupt the market the way the acquisition of a previous publisher/multiplatform developer would. Sony has been able to produce strong IPs and foster great talents for decades, so I am naturally quite optimistic about the perspectives. Plus, they seem to have been impressed by what Haven is about to bring to the table, hence why they decided to buy the studio at its infancy, when the cost of the transaction is at its lowest.
I am also surprised they are a 100+ employees strong already; Thought they would have recruited 60/70 max.
Wait and see, I guess!
Not sure why Sony aqcuired them. Its an unpoven studio that havent released a game yet.

Weird get tbh.

They've established them. Think of it as Polyphony, Pixelopus...created from scratch. With the recent money power moves deployed by MS, people have forgotten that there other ways to grow your in-house development stable.
 
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