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Sony buys ex-Stadia boss Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios

PlayStation added another studio to its first-party roster today with the announcement of its acquisition of Haven Studios. Though Haven isn’t as immediately recognizable as some of the other companies Sony has recently purchased for PlayStation, it comes with a valuable member at its head: Industry veteran Jade Raymond.

Welcoming Haven Studios to the PlayStation Studios family: https://t.co/J4NQVALbFy pic.twitter.com/txjVnhEGzx

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 21, 2022

Raymond has been in the games industry a long time, and anyone who played games over the last decade has probably seen her name in the credits at least once. Raymond’s list of credits is lengthy, though she’s best known for helping kickstart the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs franchises for Ubisoft and later founding EA Motive, the developer behind Star Wars: Squadrons and EA’s upcoming Dead Space remake. Before founding Haven Studios, Raymond joined and ran Google’s in-house Stadia game development team, Stadia Games and Entertainment. However, that studio was eventually shuttered, with Raymond leaving the company altogether. Stadia has gradually shrunk in relevance in the time since.

Haven Studios hasn’t launched or announced a game yet. However, the PlayStation Blog post about the acquisition explains that its first title will be a “AAA multiplayer experience with a vision to build a systemic and evolving world focused on freedom, thrill, and playfulness.” In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst explained his rationale for purchasing a studio without a single release to its name instead of simply working with Haven as it has so many other developers.

“You’re right,” said Hulst. “We could have just carried on in the capacity of them being an external development partner. But what Haven has created is so exciting for us, there was just a desire to deepen that relationship. We have been very impressed with how Haven is coming together.”

While Sony did not disclose a dollar amount for this acquisition, it seems that PlayStation is ready to invest more in Haven simply based on what it has seen internally so far. According to Raymond, it’s a “testament to the talent, and the amazing relationships and trust we have between the team.”

It also seems that Sony already has a plan for Haven. The company previously announced its intention of launching at least 10 live-service games by 2026, an effort that Haven seems to be part of. “From their first pitch, we were inspired by Haven’s vision for creating a modern multiplayer experience that brings gamers together in positive and meaningful ways,” reads a post on the PlayStation Blog.

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