Introducing Haven, a new Montreal-based independent studio

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Introducing Haven, a new Montreal-based independent studio

New studio is founded by Jade Raymond and working on an unannounced new IP for PlayStation.

It’s been a strange and difficult past 12 months. The pandemic, social injustice, and job elimination have impacted many of my closest friends, family, and co-workers. All of these factors, paired with an inability to see friends and family face-to-face, lulled me into a kind of self-reflective cocoon where I had to ask myself some tough questions about what really matters.

I’ve been making games for a long time — over 25 years now! I’ve had the opportunity to lead the creation of two highly successful original IPs and build multiple teams and studios from the ground up. Some of these adventures have been more successful than I could have ever imagined, and others less so. 

Several people have asked me recently: “After all of these experiences, do you still want to be in the games industry?” The answer is always an unwavering YES! The games industry is where I belong!

Whether it’s playing Settlers of Catan with my kids or Valheim with my team, games continue to bring me joy. They’re a way to relax, connect, and share experiences with people I care about. And the act of making games is, in many ways, even more fulfilling. Getting to bring together experts across so many different creative fields – from music composers, to concept artists, to programmers (yes! programmers are creative too!) into a perfectly synched orchestra that delivers new worlds for players to explore. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling or rewarding I can imagine doing.

As I took stock of my career over the last few years and started to think about what to do next, I came to a very simple conclusion: I need to get back to what I love doing most, and do so in a way that gives our team the freedom to explore, inspire, and create. 

And so today I’m announcing Haven, an independent studio where many of the talented game developers I have worked with for years (and love dearly!) are coming together to do what we are most passionate about. It’s time for us to refocus on GAMES in a place where we can practice our crafts without any barriers or impediments. We want to create worlds where players can escape, have fun, express themselves, and find community. We want to pour our passion into a project. We want to make something wondrous for people to experience. Because we believe in the power of games to bring joy to people’s lives. And Sony does, too. Their commitment to excellence is unmatched. It’s why I couldn’t be happier for their backing and support.

Together, we want to create games that are a haven for players, and we want to build a studio that is a haven for developers. So, while we don’t have many details to announce today, I want the PlayStation community to know that Haven Studios is already hard at work on an unannounced IP. We can’t wait to show you more!

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  • Jade Raymond? The one who failed at Stadia just recently? Not a good fit for PlayStation.

    • You’re blaming Jade for Google’s failures and refusal to invest money? Get your facts straight and put the blame on the proper party.

    • She failed? Google just killed all their in-house developments. I would have left too.

    • That take is so bad it physically hurt reading it.

      Stadia failed its users and failed its employees. What Jade and co are doing here is going back to their roots and doing things right on their terms.

      This is a *BIG* get for playstation and their players.

    • I suppose it was Jade and Amy Hennig’s fault too when EA WASTED their lives for over 2 years working on trying to get a Star Wars game running on their garbage Frostbite engine before just killing the project then?

    • No its the one who failed at EA recently and her studio became a tech support studio for ReSpawn and Bioware before it was shuttered (Motive) . Oh wait it is the same one

    • You’re kidding, right?

    • No Jade Raymond, the one who made the massively successful game called Assassins Creed.

    • Jade Raymond didn’t failed Stadia. Phil Harrison failed Jade Raymond

    • You should expand your awareness Runik. EA dictated teams would use the broken Frostbite engine. Raymond or Hennigs’s decision. EA forced this on them so they had to wrestle with their overlord’s bad decisions. At the end of the day they still had to follow some ridiculous executive’s disastrous directives. They both exercised grace and dignity, took the public hit and left. Legoman is correct. This is a big deal for PlayStation.

    • Not Raymond or Hennigs’s decision to use Frostbite.

    • Comments like this are a good example of why we need a voting system.

    • We get it: woman bad.

    • Good on Sony for creating more World wide studios.
      Especially in Montreal.
      If Sony can hire talents from disgruntled Bethesda talented employees.
      They may buy off studios, but they can’t force talent to stay.

    • Jade Raymond at Stadia was the equivalent of a Captain being sent into battle and when he gets to the enemy lines, his Commanding General pulls out all the support troops, tanks, and aircraft leaving the Captain alone with a squad of soldiers to win the entire battle.

    • Wow. You’re pretty immature. People can’t bounce back and pursue other opportunities? You never failed at anything in life? She is a human being just like you.

      If Sony want to invest in her and back a new studio, what’s it to you that you get so mean-spirited about it? Some people just write off people way too easily.

      I’m looking forward to seeing what this project is. Hope she succeeds, along with her team.

    • They hardly gave their devs 12 months to develop games…… Have you ever heard a game made in 12 months? If so, that is some news to me

    • She is going to be a good fit for playstation

    • Did you even read your post before you posted it? It’s people like you that make gamers look uneducated. Google Stadia itself failed on arrival. You expected Jade Raymond to save Google Stadia when Google couldn’t even do it? Dude take a break from the internet, that is the dumbest post I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Great to hear Jade. Was sad to see that your projects at EA and Google didn’t work out. With PlayStation behind your studio I have no doubts we’ll finally get to play a new project from you and the team. Can’t wait to learn more.

  • We need Knack 3 cmon Cerny

    • This, I would love another knack game. Maybe update the art style the gameplay is great fun.

      Also Sony need to fix my PS5. They’ve had it for 2 weeks. I could have put a new power supply in within 5 minutes arrrrghhhhhh hurry up!

    • Agreed. Knack 2 was quality all around. Visuals, combat, co op, performance. One of the underrated gems this generation.

  • This is an awesome opportunity for you Jade!
    Curious to see what Haven will create now that you have a more committed partner backing you up. Also…. Take chances!

  • You’re in the right place, Jade!

    Keep fighting the good fight and I’m looking forward to your next game reveal!

  • Montreal seems like a great place to create video games and Jade Raymond produced some of Ubisoft’s best games. Sounds like a recipe for success to me and I wish everyone involved the best of luck!

  • So did Sony acquire the studio or are they just financially backing them?

    • financially backing just for this new IP

    • Just backing them. Think of this as the same as what they did for Kojima and Death Stranding.

    • Depends I suppose if this really blows up they could give them a offer like insomniac with Spiderman, bluepoint impressed with demon souls apparently that’s happening kojima is basically Sony’s buddy anyway has been a big supporter for years

    • Hopefully it does well and Sony will consider locking the studio up to bring more value to the platform.

    • This just sounds like a publishing deal. I actually thought Sony had formed a new studio for a second and then I remembered indie means independent.

      We don’t even know if this deal includes exclusivity and we don’t even know if Sony is officially publishing this game. All we know is that the studio is receiving some backing from Sony. Pretty vague, I’d love more details or a greater investment. Unfortunately Microsoft has started a proverbial arms race, or at least it seems that way, and it’s put me in this unhealthy mindset where I want Sony to acquire more Studios even though they don’t need to. Regardless, I’d love another mid-tier or indie size studio similar to Pixelopus in Sony’s portfolio, but even confirmation on a new future exclusive seemingly published by Sony is good news nonetheless.

      I expect all of the failures that were out of Raymond’s control in recent years to coalesce into a grand success on PlayStation 5. I doubt the team can take any of the work from EA or Google with them but the ideas and the experience will certainly help facilitate a new game.

  • Congratulations and remember, Heaven is not the limit it’s just the starting point

  • Salutations Jade! I totally saw this coming, so excited. You are a bit of a legend. Welcome and congrats on the new studio, love the name and cant wait to see what youve been up to.

  • Wonderful news! Now please find a way to bring Shannon Studstill back to the PlayStation family. I know she left to chase those Stadia dollars (which have now gone away), but everyone makes mistakes. Please come home, Shannon!

  • I don’t get it, an independent studio but announced on PlayStation Blog? So, PlayStation is adding the funds for their first IP but Haven wants to be independent and not part of PlayStation Studios? Or is it like PlayStation wants Jade to prove herself before joining PlayStation Studios?

    Anyway, it’s good news, more exclusives for PlayStation, we need more of those because team green are spending some serious money on more games.

    • It’s the same thing as what they did for Kojima. They hire his studio to make an exclusive game for PlayStation but they don’t own the studio. Maybe if the game turns out really well they might buy them then.

    • A game that is also on PC is not an exclusive PlayStation game. I suppose Sony is porting more games to PC to help recover software losses since future Bethesda games will not be coming to PlayStation.

    • Does anyone actually care about borethesda anymore?

      FO games have been horrendously boring for ages (not even the disliked MMO, 4 was just terrible).
      Actual ES games last came out on the PS3 (and are mostly awful and repetitive).
      Then a bunch of generic recycled shooters.

      Every time Bethesda are at E3 it’s the same games with the same trailers in the exact same way with slightly different names.

      Also, other “Microsoft Studio” games come out on the PS4/5 so it’s might not even change anything.

    • Exclusives you say?…what is that?….ha Sony is making that word meaningless and with that their word in itself cannot be trusted anymore…now we never know what will stay exclusive or given to the beggar race or hell even the damn xbots.I saw that MLB The Show is on xb*x…not a game I care about but still that game has been a PS only game for how many years now?

    • @ MiseryPrincess – Hey Bethesda has never been anything special,they do mostly crappy games with poor tech but they have great games too.Doom specially but Evil Within,Dishonored,Wolfenstein…those will be a bad loss for PS.You’re right about the trailers though lol.

  • Awesome

  • Brilliant news. Cannot wait to see this and it brings such great hope that series s is simply not involved and will not ruin/compromise your vision. Even though it early days and we know NOTHING about this project lol, I am confident in saying we have a potential GOTY on our hands here.

    • What?…you never even saw a picture of their game and it’s saying it’s GOTY potential?….hahahahahaha.

  • I’m interested in seeing what game they release in a few years time

  • Please let this be an actual PlayStation Exclusive only on the PlayStation Platform not some pseudo timed multiplatform garbage like Flop Stranding im glad my fellow PlayStation gamers didn’t support it. but serious SIE yall gotta stop trying to play your fanbase not only we lost trust in Jim Ryan Herman Hulst many other lying sony execs but after announcing games on PC you pushed your audience to the edge of insanity. stop trying to follow the loser Microsoft for short term gain stop straying from Nintendo path which kept PlayStation going strong.

    • Probably the reason why the stranding game didn’t do so great wasn’t anything to do with it being multiplatform, but more because of how it was advertised.

      Most people don’t care about a game about “meditative wandering around for hours delivering packages”. Or whatever extremely boring thing Sony/Kojima decided to market it as (with no demo).

    • @ MiseryPrincess – You talk about repetitive stuff yet you bash new,original stuff?…ha.Wonder what’s your vision for games,I really dont wanna bother looking at your profile.

    • Did you actually read the comment? 😜

      It was “complaining” that the way DS was advertised, which made it really seem not remotely fun. Not anything about the actual game, just that how it was presented probably cost it sales.

      So I don’t know where you got I “bash” “new original stuff” from. Though “meditative wandering games” aren’t particularly new or original.

  • That’s amazing too hear, I get the impression she and her team working on original games for Stadia got really screwed over, she’s one of the people responsible for many of the major franchises from AAA 3rd party publishers and after 25 years she definitely deserves to be in the driving seat at a major independent development house.

    It’ll obviously be a while before we see anything in the way of a concept or some kind of direction reveal for the game, but Sony really is a great place for this, I mean Hideo did amazing work on Death Stranding with the freedom Sony helped him and his team achieve making Kojima Productions, the same will very likely be true of Haven Entertainment Studios.

    Good luck Jade, I look forward to seeing what you guys are coming up with.

  • PlayStation + Jade + Haven = great match!

    Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!!

  • You’re a phenomenal talent, Jade. Can’t wait to see what you and the team come up with. Congratulations!

  • Good luck! Looking forward to what you all come up with!

  • This is so awesome! Obviously nothing is for certain, but Jade & PlayStation are pretty safe bets for success. We won’t properly see the fruits of this partnership for a few years, but I can’t wait to see what Haven has in store for us! Thank you Jade for making games and thank you PlayStation for backing her studio’s first game.

    Random Question: Since Haven is an Indie Studio, does that mean Jade is in communication with Shuhei Yoshida?

  • Congratulations! Look forward your, experienced synthesis and creativity on Playstation.

  • Not sure if this means your part of the Playstation family but I’m glad your back on your feet. Sorry about Google…Screwggle you and your co workers. I’m looking forward to this new IP.

  • PlayStation has 7 North American studios and only 2 Japanese ones and what does Hermen Hulst do? He shatters 1 of the only 2 JP studios and funds yet another NA one, throwing money to a person who goes from failed project after failed project. Wow guys, well done! The future of PlayStation sure looks bright under Hermen.

    • Her “failed” projects at EA and Google had nothing to do with her. Google didn’t start to build exclusive games until they launched their platform and then they decided they weren’t willing to invest money in them at all. Go educate yourself.

    • You mean

      9 NA studios.
      2 EU
      1 JP
      none for the rest of the planet.

      Seems balanced. It’s not like most of the NA studios churn out the same “exciting” games over and over and over and over and over that are basically reskins with the same tone.

  • Great news, Jade. All the very best to you and your team! Creativity and good team work rock!

  • Great news! I’ve always thought Jade Raymond understood her audience far more than most other creators. Just watch some interviews with her. Looking forward to another ground breaking title!!

  • Great to hear! Good luck in your endeavor. And ignore the trolls!

  • I wish valhiem was on consoles.

  • Tease.

    Can you at least say how long we’ll have to wait to hear anything more than “unannounced IP?” Not when it will be ready to play – just how long before you think you can share more than the name of the studio?

  • What a great get!! So awesome to hear that Jade Raymond is working on something for Playstation. Shes one of the best in the business. Cant wait to see what Haven does.

    Now all we need is Amy Hennig, and Chris Avellone to join the Playstation team and we will be SET UP!

    Awesome news by itself though.

  • Sony needs to buy Sega & Konami next

    • Sega is worth about $6 billion currently.
      Konami is cheap in comparison at around $3.8 billion

      Not sure Sony has that much money to throw around though.

  • This is very exciting news and I’m looking forward to what the team at Haven create.

  • good luck to you and your team on this new endeavor, Jade!

  • Wishing you & the entire Haven team all the best!! Looking forward to hearing more about your new game, but take all the time you need. 👍🏼😸

  • Spectacular news to hear. Such an excellent brew of folks going into Haven. Good luck to all at Haven. Stoked to see what they come up with. Innovation originated from creative minds being able to flow with complete autonomy! Godspeed and enjoy

  • That’s a dim outlook of the comments out there, I have the best of hopes for Haven. I only want games produced with the quality and imagination that Jade and teams has been involved with so far. If they do that I will play the games. Simple right? Wish I could help!

  • Jade Raymond worked on Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell, all of which I’m a very big fan of. Excited for this new IP!

  • This is awesome!!

  • Amazing !!!

  • Welcome, Jade. Looking forward to whatever you’re working on.

  • Google is too early in their corporate culture to realize what has taken Microsoft a really long time to learn. Gamers need games and game platform providers must invest in game development studios and consistent schedule of original compelling content and do so over years proving how serious and devoted they are.

    Sony will be a much better partner for Jade Raymond and the new Haven original IP project.

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