Jade Raymond's Haven Studios has officially become part of PlayStation. In light of her studio joining PlayStation, Raymond has described her vision for Haven, specifically referring to a focus on cloud gaming, which she believes to be a "game changer" for the industry.
Why is Haven Studios investing so heavily in cloud gaming?
Back in March 2021, Ubisoft veteran Jade Raymond announced that she had formed a new indie outfit by the name of Haven Studios. Almost exactly one year later, Raymond and PlayStation announced that Haven would officially become part of PlayStation Studios, and since then, many gamers have been wondering what Raymond's plans are for Haven. Thanks to a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, we now have a better idea of Raymond's mission statement when it comes to her new studio, and that mission statement revolves rather heavily around cloud gaming, by the looks of it.
Raymond describes Haven as a "studio in a cloud", and since the PlayStation deal, she's recruited 21 more engineers to work on the studio's cloud gaming division. She says that cloud gaming is a good way to build a live-service game, which she's currently creating for PS5 alongside Haven, without needing the massive development time and resources that "PlayStation-level graphics" and regular updates would usually demand. Raymond says Haven has recently hired ex-Rainbow Six: Siege technical architect Jalal El Mansouri, who also worked at Google as a senior staff engineer. That hire, alongside personal interest from Sony "rockstar" Mark Cerny (as Raymond calls him), means she's excited about what Haven can achieve on its new project. It's well worth checking out the full GI.biz interview with Raymond, as she also talks about her studio's approach to remote working and building a studio without a physical location, among other things.
Jade Raymond and cloud gaming have a somewhat rocky history
If you know Jade Raymond's name, it might well be from her work on Ubisoft franchises like Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs, but it could also be through her work with the ill-fated Google Stadia. Raymond left Ubisoft in 2014, joining EA in 2015 to head up a new studio. Work on a Star Wars game alongside Uncharted narrative designer Amy Hennig came to naught, though, and Raymond eventually found herself heading up Google's Stadia Games Studios. Google Stadia's fall from grace has been well-documented, so news that Raymond's new studio is focusing on cloud gaming as well may not be particularly welcome to many who remember Stadia's misfortunes. However, it's fair to say that Raymond has much more clout behind her now thanks to PlayStation Studios, as well as greater creative control over a studio that's very much her own, so here's hoping this new venture goes better than her tenure with Google did.
It remains to be seen what Raymond and Haven Studios are cooking up. In the GI.biz interview, the nature of the project on which the studio is currently working wasn't mentioned at all. We know it's a live service game, and that presumably it will focus heavily on cloud gaming, but other than that, details are pretty thin on the ground right now. We'll likely learn more about Haven Studios' upcoming project, which is being developed for PS5, in the coming months, so stay tuned to TechRaptor for more info about that as we get it.