In March 2021, Jade Raymond, one of the key developers behind the Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs franchises, founded Haven Studios. Prior to that, Raymond was leading Stadia Games and Entertainment, and she also founded Ubisoft Toronto and Motive Studios.
The new studio started out with a project to make a new game with a new IP for PlayStation. Currently, there isn't much information about the project revealed, and it seems like work on it is still ongoing, with one big difference.
Sony Interactive Entertainment will be acquiring Haven Studios. This makes the studio the 18th one to become part of the PlayStation Studios. This means that Haven Studios won't be considered a third-party developer, and has become a first-party developer.
The upcoming PlayStation-exclusive game will be a multiplayer experience that taps into the game-as-social-platform format and includes user-generated content. From the sound of it, it is going to be a game-as-service project, though the form that the game takes still remains to be seen.
This acquisition continues the trend of Sony and Microsoft acquiring game development studios, with the former also acquiring Bungie and the latter acquiring the entirety of Activision Blizzard. The impact of such high-profile acquisitions on the gaming industry and on gamers is still uncertain.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.