Jade Raymond’s New PlayStation Exclusive Will Include Social Elements and User-Generated Content

Jade Raymond has said that Haven's upcoming PlayStation exclusive game will include social elements and user-generated content, adding that it's being created by many of the devs behind the original Assassin's Creed.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Raymond had started Haven Entertainment Studios, an independent company in Montreal currently working on an unannounced new IP for PlayStation. During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the studio boss delved a little further into what fans can expect from the game and exactly who's making it.

"There are three things that are really exciting me, which are also pillars for the way that we're thinking about things," says Raymond. "First is games as a social platform. The pandemic has proven that gameplay is the social glue that binds communities. Especially for the younger generation, this is what you do and how you make friends and hang out. That is something that we really want to build and design for."

While there are plenty of games around that include social elements in their design, the second concept on Raymond's list adds another layer to the direction in which the studio looks to be taking its new IP.

"The second thing is thinking about the 'remix generation'. It started a little while ago, there is this age of self-expression where we're designing our NikeID shoes, we're reading our friends' blogs rather than what our professional journalists are writing. And I think that has continued to go further with things like TikTok. That's another thing that we're thinking about at the heart of this IP. It is beyond user-generated content, it is about taking that self-expression and remix concept to the next level."

PlayStation has seen a number of its previous exclusives focus on similar ideas to some degree in the past. Games such as LittleBigPlanet have allowed fans to create and play user-generated levels alongside one another, while the more recent release of Dreams scaled up the concept further by granting users the ability to create fully-fledged games, mechanics, art and more across its creation platform.

Raymond didn't go into too much detail surrounding how Haven's upcoming game will take shape. However, the studio head was keen to note that she's excited to be able to create a new IP from scratch, and in particular, one that "can last for generations and become meaningful for people on a deeper level."

"But how do we create an IP that has that depth, but it is designed to be owned by the fans from the start," asks Raymond. "When we created Assassin's Creed, we were really thinking about creating an IP that can be owned by creative teams in the future. We thought if we create a framework of anything that takes place in a moment in history and has the Assassins behind it, [that] will be consistent with the brand so teams can evolve that and own it. Now what we're thinking about is creating an IP where it's not just professional teams, but it is designed to be owned by the fans and can evolve through that."

Creating a game that pushes the boundaries of creativity and ownership sounds like no easy task. Fortunately for Raymond, the IP is in experienced hands. Corey May, who was the original writer on the first Assassin's Creed is taking up the role of world director for the game, while a number of other staff from the original Assassin's Creed team are also involved.

"We started in 2004 working together. I was 29 at the time. Now we all have kids and grey hair and it's many years later," says Raymond. "But we still love working together. Corey was there, Raphael, Mathieu Leduc, who is our creative director, Pierre-Francois Sapinski [head of production]… the list goes on. We have a lot of people from that original game. And there really was a magical feeling when working on that first game, and I feel like we have that again."

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.