Twenty-five years is a long time in about any industry. Working in the game industry for 25 years, in particular, can be several small lifetimes of change. Jade Raymond is an example of a multi-studio development trailblazer that has worked to shape the industry behind and frequently very much in direct charge of the scenes. She’s been the lead point not just in creating the Assasin’s Creed series but in furthering projects from Konami to Electronic Arts, producing and directing everything from Far Cry to Star Wars. As of an announcement today, Raymond is setting her sights on something new.
“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.”Jade Raymond, Playstation.Blog
Haven Studios Announced
In a recent blog post on Playstation.Blog Raymond talked about navigating pandemic seclusion, past projects, and setting her creative sights forward. These creative endeavors will be under the umbrella of Haven studios, a Montreal based independent game studio with, as of right now, no announced game projects. Raymond’s article does hint at some incoming announcements; hopefully, we will be able to have an idea of exactly what their first project will be as well as who else she brings on to develop them.
Departure from Stadia
“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.”Jade Raymond, Playstation.Blog
Haven appears to be working on a project in cooperation with Sony, and judging by the announcement and Sony’s backing, it’s not a far leap to assume the project will be an exclusive. The announcement of a new Sony Independent studio comes after Raymond’s departure from Google’s entertainment studio, Stadia. With a withdrawal of direction and downsizing, Stadia will likely cancel plans for games in 2021 while bringing close to finished projects to an end or pause.
From the looks of Haven’s announcement, the studio will have a large amount of freedom to explore creator’s projects. No doubt this is a refreshing change for Raymond and whoever her team will be after the separation from Stadia.
With a head known for creating defining experiences amongst triple-A studios, Haven has a lot of promise and a lot of backbone in its launch. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see exactly what it is they have up their sleeve in the near future.