PlayStation Acquisition of Haven Studios Has Closed - NewsWilliam D'Angelo , posted on 11 July 2022 / 2,037 Views
Sony Interactive Entertainment in March announced its plans to acquire Jade Raymond's Haven Entertainment Studios. The Canadian based developer has now officially joined PlayStation as the deal has closed.
The studio has doubled in size since October 2021 as it currently has 106 employees, which is an increase of over 50.
"We already mentioned that we built the studio in a cloud and that was our vision since we started during the pandemic," Raymond told GamesIndustry in an interview. "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."
Raymond before forming Haven worked at Google on its Stadia streaming service.
"There have been people talking about these different forms of cloud gaming from the consumer side, such as: 'you can now play these AAA games on mobile' or 'I can now do these different kinds of games', which was the promise of Stadia. But the promise of cloud that we're really focusing on is more what it means to game developers.
"When you think about the game engines that we have around, they were all built several years ago and things have changed a lot. Our games have a lot more data. We're making an exclusive for PS5, and it is a live service game, so we have additional challenges of how do we make that kind of game with that kind of delivery, but with the PlayStation-level graphics that people expect. All while allowing for those constant updates and building something that could be a living experience.
"Obviously to do that without having thousands and thousands of people, you need to work in a different way. And even if you are going to have thousands of people on the dev team, just the amount of data that you have to push and the way that you think about those updates and keeping a game alive... there's a lot better ways to do it.
"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.
"When you get to teams of thousands of people and you're dealing with a lot of these old processes where it takes a long time to just get your data and get up and running and open your editor... you sap some of the creativity out of game making, not only the reactivity but the ability for those game developers to just try things out. That's our main objective: we want to make the dev team more efficient and able to output new ideas faster."
Raymond added, "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."
A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.