Sony has announced the creation of a new independent games studio and it’s already working on a brand new IP for PlayStation, opening the door for a series of PS5 exclusives.
Haven Entertainment Studios, which will be based in Montreal, is operational thanks largely to investment from Sony. The announcement was made by gaming legend Jade Redmond, who’ll head up the new studio. Redmond recently left a role as studio head for Google Stadia, following the decision to close down the first-party operations.
Redmond is a gaming legend, having played a key role in creating the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs franchises while at Ubisoft. She was also a director or producer on titles like Far Cry 4, The Sims Online and Star Wars: Battlefront II.
In a post on the PlayStation blog, Redmond said she wants to get back to leading the creation of games. The influential developer said she’s bringing together some of her favourite developers, who’ll be able to refocus on the games “without any barriers or impediments.”
She wrote: “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.”
She continued: “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!”
Analysis – Another smart play from Sony
Enlisting one of the most influential people in modern gaming history, with a proven track record of creating and sustaining some iconic franchises, seems an excellent move from Sony. The PS4’s dominance over the Xbox One was largely down to a superior line-up of exclusive games and we’d expect more high-profile additions in the PS5 era, from Haven and beyond.
With Microsoft buying up massive studios like Bethesda and likely keeping franchises like Doom, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Dishonoured exclusive moving forward, it’s even more important for Sony to ensure its own exclusives are just as compelling. We can envision some of the best PS5 games emerging from this new arrangement.
As well as having a proven track report, it could be argued that Redmond has something to prove for the first time in a while. For reasons likely beyond her control, the switch to Google Stadia did not work out. Reading between the lines of Redmond’s blog post, it’s clear she felt restricted creatively while heading the short-lived Stadia studios. We’re expecting big things again in the future.