Saturday, September 30, 2023

Why did PlayStation buy Haven, a studio that has never released a game?

PlayStation he started the year in the same way he closed the previous one: buying studios. First Bungie, makers of Halo and Destiny, for which they disbursed 3,600 million dollars. This week, the company reopened the portfolio to acquire Haven, the studio led by Jade Raymond, one of the creators of Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs. Nevertheless, this acquisition has been very different from the previous ones. Why? Because Haven hasn’t released a single game.

If we analyze the studios that PlayStation bought in recent years, we can find that the vast majority, except for the support ones like Valkyrie Entertainment and Nixxes, have already delivered their titles. Insomniac Games were known for Ratchet & Clank and Resistance; housemark by returnal; Bluepoint for the remakes of Shadow of the Colossus and Demon’s Souls; Firesprite by The Playroomand Bungie for the aforementioned Destiny and HaloHaven, at the moment, cannot boast a franchise of that level.

Such a situation is well known in the industry; For this reason, it is a “surprise” that Sony has decided to buy a studio that, despite being made up of people with a lot of experience, has not yet had the opportunity to offer us a game. The latter is largely due to Haven being born just in the first months of 2021. In fact, from the beginning, they closed a partnership with PlayStation so that their first title was exclusive to the PS5.

So… why did PlayStation open the portfolio for a studio with such a short journey? Why did they break the strategy of buying already consolidated teams with a well-known project portfolio? Two key reasons clear the doubts.

Why did PlayStation buy Haven, a studio that has never released a game?

An ambitious multiplayer game is on the way

Just yesterday, Jim Ryan, director of Sony Interactive Entertainment, announced that Haven’s first project is an AAA multiplayer title. On more than one occasion we have talked about how PlayStation is throwing the house out the window to have its own Fortnite or war zone. The purchase of Bungie was really to take advantage of his experience and knowledge in multiplayer.

Of course, we haven’t seen any trailer for Haven’s title, but at Sony already. In an interview with, Hermen Hulst, director of PlayStation Studios, said that are very impressed with the studio’s current work. Not only because of the status of the project but also because of how the Canada-based team is growing. “What Haven has created is very exciting for us. There was a desire to deepen that relationship. We have been very impressed with how Haven is shaping up,” she said.

When Hulst and his people identified that this game has the potential to become another benchmark for the Playstation brand. They stepped forward to buy Haven. The manager expressed: “It is easier for us to invest more deeply in the team and the game in this way. [buying it]. It is proof that we are very impressed with the progress they have made. They are exceeding many of the plans, even in terms of time, which rarely happens in game development. So we thought: let’s invest deeply and do this right.”

By purchasing Haven, those led by Jade Raymond will have access to a considerable amount of resources. Beyond the economic ones, they will also be able to access the firm’s technologies, which are shared among the internal studios. Of course, PlayStation took this important step because they believe that the title aligns with your quality standards, which are usually high.

Securing talent during an acquisition battle

At a time when the industry’s biggest companies are in an undeclared acquisition battle, it’s crucial to move quickly and efficiently to ensure a talented team is on your side. Yes, Haven hasn’t tried anything like a studio yet, but many of its employees have pretty impressive résumés thanks to their previous jobs. PlayStation is not only investing in a promising project but also in a very talented group of people.

Jade Raymond herself spoke on this subject: “Many of these people have worked together for decades on many AAA games. We have created new intellectual properties together. Many of them have gone to work at different studios with me. It is a great advantage when everyone knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You know how to work together and you’ve done it before.”

With the purchase of Haven, on the other hand, PlayStation Studios sets foot in Canada, a region that has grown significantly in the development of AAA video games. It was one of the few companies in the industry that, for one reason or another, did not have a presence in the North American country. And why is this important? Because you have a place that can open its doors to many talented people who are in the vicinity. Sony has been following a similar strategy for some time in California, the UK, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and most recently in Helsinki.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article