After the Google Stadia Product Manager left, it was discovered that another six key Stadia employees have left the company. However, all six have joined the newly formed Haven Entertainment Studios, the Montreal-based studio working on a new IP for Sony. As noted in a post on ResetEra and noted through LinkedIn profiles, Stadia’s General Manager Sebastien Puel, Head of Creative Services and Corey May, UX researcher Jonathan Dankoff, graphics programmer Pierre-Marc Bérubé and conceptual artists Erwann Le Rouzic and Francis Denoncourt left Google Stadia Games to take on new roles in the rapidly growing Haven Entertainment Studios. Puel is co-founder, May the World / IP Director, Dankoff the Insights Director, Le Rouzic and Denoncourt are concept artists and Bérubé software developers.
Haven Entertainment Studios was founded earlier this year when Jade Raymond (who previously ran Google Stadia’s game and entertainment studio) left the company to set up their own development studio in Montreal in a way that gives our team the freedom to admit explore, inspire and create. “The studio was quickly supported by Sony in the development of a new exclusive IP for PlayStation platforms. Raymond previously worked at Ubisoft and EA and is best known for her work as the director of EA’s Motive Studio and Ubisoft Toronto.
Have you played Google Stadia?
Google Stadia Games and Entertainment closed earlier this year to use its platform for third-party game development. At the time, Google said it would try to find new roles in the company for those affected, but it’s clear some decided that this was the time to jump in the ship. This isn’t the first report of Stadia development issues, however, as it was reported earlier this year that Google had to spend millions of dollars on porting AAA games and struggles with the development pipeline. It is not yet known what the team at Haven is working on, but given its success in attracting high profile AAA talent and support from Sony, it will likely play an important role in Sony’s exclusive gaming strategy.
Haven Entertainment Studios was founded with the desire to be “a developer’s paradise,” said Raymond earlier this year. Given what is happening to Stadia, it looks like that vision is about to come true.
Liam Wiseman is a freelance news writer at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @liamthewiseman