Stadia may have shut down all first-party game production, but Google’s loss is Sony’s gain. Jade Raymond, one of the most prolific producers in gaming, lost her Stadia vice president job when Google jettisoned all of its game developers last month. It didn’t take her long to land on her feet, however, as she’s now heading up Haven Entertainment Studios, a new Montreal-based outfit under the PlayStation umbrella. Not only that, but she and her team are already working on a new Sony IP.
Information comes from the official PlayStation Blog, where Raymond talked a little bit about her personal experience in the gaming industry, and a little bit about what she’d like to accomplish in her new role.
“Today, I’m announcing Haven, an independent studio where many of the talented game developers I have worked with for years (and love dearly!) are coming together to do what we are most passionate about.
“We believe in the power of games to bring joy to people’s lives,” she continued. “And Sony does, too. Their commitment to excellence is unmatched. It’s why I couldn’t be happier for their backing and support.”
So far, we have very little concrete info about Haven, save that Raymond is at the helm, and that it’s working on a new PlayStation IP. This is admittedly enough to sound promising. Raymond is arguably the mastermind behind the acclaimed Assassin’s Creed series, and whatever she was working on with Stadia, it’s a shame that it got cut short. Furthermore, Sony’s exclusive titles have generally been excellent, and there’s no reason why Haven’s project should break that trend.
Raymond didn’t say much about her departure from Google, apart from stating that “Some of these adventures [in the gaming industry] have been more successful than I could have ever imagined, and others less so.” She also mentioned that it’s been a very tough year for just about everyone, between public health concerns and economic issues.
Haven Studios does have a website set up, although there’s nothing there yet except a link to the PlayStation Blog post, and an e-mail address. Raymond didn’t mention anything about job openings, so what people would need to contact Haven for at this point is a good question. But we expect the website to get more fleshed out over the next few months.
We’ll also be curious to learn how Haven operates as an independent studio with Sony’s financial support. Generally speaking, independent studios aren’t beholden to one particular publisher, so it’s possible that Sony is simply Haven’s first contract. It’s also possible that the two companies have some kind of timed exclusivity deal. This, too, we’ll probably learn more about when we find out what kind of game Haven is working on.