In March 2021, Assassin’s Creed co-creator and former Stadia Games and Entertainment head Jade Raymond announced that she’d launched a new studio called Haven. The studio was “independent” but backed by Sony, and its first project was described as a “new IP for PlayStation.”
It sounded very much like a PlayStation studio in all but name, and now it’s official: PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst announced today that Sony has acquired Haven.
“We began working with Jade and her team in early 2021 when they were on the brink of announcing the formation of Haven Studios,” Hulst wrote. “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. We were confident in their creative and technical expertise to deliver on such an ambitious project and were thrilled to invest in their journey developing a new, original IP for PlayStation.”
Specifics about Haven’s first game still haven’t been revealed, but Raymond said in her own statement that the studio has “made amazing progress in a short time thanks to our talented, passionate team and their exceptional contributions.”
“Our first new IP for PlayStation is on track to deliver a triple-A multiplayer experience with a vision to build a systemic and evolving world focused on freedom, thrill, and playfulness that will keep players entertained and engaged for years,” Raymond said.
“As a SIE first-party studio, we will have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned development teams, including studios like Guerrilla, Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, and Insomniac Games, the creators of games that have inspired us as players and developers for years. We’re excited to learn from these world-class studios, as well as the exceptional central creative, technology and marketing teams whose expertise will enable us to deliver even better games to players.”
Raymond’s description of Haven’s in-progress project is vague to say the least, and while the havenstudios.com website is definitely more built-out than it was last year, it still doesn’t have much to say about what’s going on. Mostly a recruiting pages at this stage, it’s filled with multi-font platitudes about passion, wonder, creativity, and all that—”We build opportunities for fearless optimism” is one such message—laid over generic concept art, and otherwise features job listings, a “meet the team” page, and a blog section. Information on what it’s actually doing, however, remains elusive.
Also unclear is what platforms Haven’s first game will appear on. In a separate press release, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said the project “will not only flex the power of PlayStation 5 but will further expand upon the diverse catalog of gaming experiences that can only be found on PlayStation.” That obviously points to PS5 exclusivity, which is something Sony has previously indicated it wants to maintain. But PC ports of first-party Sony games, including heavy hitters like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and Uncharted, are increasingly common, and these days we tend to see them more as a matter of “when,” rather than “if.”