PlayStation buys Canadian studio Haven before it’s even made a game


The two already had a very close working relationship (pic: Sony)

It’s no Activision, but Sony has added another studio to its first party line-up; one that hasn’t even announced its first game yet.

It was obvious that Bungie wouldn’t be the only studio acquisition Sony made this year. Although it’s far from a household name, developer Haven is now part of PlayStation studios and already working on its first exclusive.

At first, it seems odd for Sony to buy Haven considering it was only founded last year and still hasn’t released any games. However, Sony did invest in the studio and, while details are slim, its first project is confirmed to be a PlayStation 5 exclusive live service title.

PlayStation Studios head Herman Hulst says that they’ve been working closely with Haven over the past year and are ‘extremely impressed with its growth and progress on its first project.’

He expanded a bit more in a GamesIndustry.biz interview, saying ‘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.

‘They’re actually exceeding a lot of the plans, including in terms of time, which very rarely happens in game development, let me tell you. So we thought: Let’s invest deeply and do this properly.’

At the moment, Haven is best known for being founded by Jade Raymond. Her CV includes serving as a producer on the Assassin’s Creed series, founding EA Motive Studios (which is now making the Dead Space remake), and heading development on Google’s first party Stadia games… until those plans were abandoned.

Naturally, Raymond has talked positively about the acquisition as well, seeing it as an opportunity to grow the studio and collaborate with the likes of Naughty Dog and Insomniac.

‘Working with Hermen, Connie Booth [not Polly from Fawlty Towers – GC], and the team at PlayStation over the past year has been a career highlight. SIE is a supportive partner that truly understands the creative process and what it takes to make a blockbuster AAA game.

‘They have empowered and encouraged us to bring our bold vision to life and make our dreams come true and we could not be more thrilled about this opportunity to strengthen our partnership,’ reads a message by Raymond on the PlayStation Blog website.

Haven also marks Sony’s first studio to be based in Canada. Sony is actually late to the party on this front, with many prominent companies, including chief rivals Nintendo and Microsoft, long having a presence in the country.

‘We are finally in Canada, we’re finally in Quebec, and we’ve hit the ground running with a team that’s deeply embedded in the area,’ Hulst tells GamesIndustry.biz.

‘As you know, we’ve always been heavily represented on the East Coast of the US, in Tokyo, in the UK, in Amsterdam, and now in Helsinki with Housemarque. So it’s great to be able to tap into pools of creative talent in different parts of the world.’

Sony has not disclosed how much it spent on acquiring Haven, but there’s no way it was anywhere close to the £2.7 billion they paid for Bungie.

Jade Raymond

Also no clue on when we’ll get to see whatever Raymond and her team are working on (pic: YouTube)

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