Earlier this year, it was announced that PlayStation was planning to purchase Haven, the new Jade Raymond Montreal-based studio currently working on a PS5-exclusive multiplayer project. Well, as of today, PlayStation’s acquisition of Haven has been finalized.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 11, 2022
In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Raymond provided some updates on where Haven is as a studio. The team has grown to 106 employees and is built around a “studio in a cloud” concept. Not only do Haven employees have the option for working remotely, but all their computing needs are handled by the cloud, providing even more freedom. That said, Haven has opened a physical office as well.
“The downside of starting a new studio is you have to start everything from scratch. 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.”
In order to bolster their cloud-based tech and other research and development endeavors, Haven has brought aboard former Rainbow Six Siege technical director Jalal El Mansouri. Apparently, Haven’s R&D efforts have also attracted the attention of Mark Cerny and other PlayStation Studios devs, who might use the tech in their own projects.
“So [Mark Cerny] is one of the main reasons we're investing so much in R&D, and in this very senior engineering team. 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.”
It sure sounds like Haven is quickly establishing itself as one of the key players in the PlayStation Studios system. It will be interesting to see what they’re working on.