Forza Horizon Execs Create New AAA Studio After Leaving PlayGround Games

Welcome, Maverick Games!

After leaving Xbox’s PlayGround Games, some of the leads that have created the Forza Horizon series have now founded a new AAA development studio.

This new studio has been called Maverick Games and it has some big ambitions. The UK-based outfit’s founding team The Leamington Spa is now being led by former Forza Horizon Creative Director Mike Brown. He also is the creative director and studio head.

It was revealed that the new studio has now secured significant seed funding and already has a planned debut game. This upcoming title will be a new, premium open-world game that will be available on PC and consoles. The announcement did not specify if this is going to be a racing type of game, but there is a high chance it could be one.

The leadership team will include Chief Operating Officer Harinder Sangha and Executive Producer Tom Butcher. The former was previously the co-studio head of Sumo Digital Leamington while the latter was a former lead producer at Playground.

Maverick Games’ chief technology officer is Matt Craven who was PlayGround’s technical director. Content Director Gareth Harwood previously was Xbox Studio technical art director, and audio director Fraser Strachan was also the audio director at Playground Games.

Ben Penrose is now the art director of Maverick Games and was previously a Playground Studio art director. UX/UI Director Elly Marshall was EA Experience design director.

“Our goal is for Maverick Games to be a studio people will love,” said Brown. “For players, we’re already at work on an exciting ultra-high quality title, and for developers, we’re building a home where everyone is encouraged to take risks, be curious, be creative, be innovative, be themselves, and above all – be a Maverick.”