Home tech Forza Horizon executives are leaving Xbox Playground Games to form a new AAA studio

Forza Horizon executives are leaving Xbox Playground Games to form a new AAA studio

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A few key talents behind Microsoft’s Forza Horizon I left the Box X series of playground games to form a new trio development studio called Maverick Games.

The Leamington Spa, the UK-based founding team led by former Forza Horizon creative director Mike Brown who serves as creative director and head of studio.

The startup said it has secured significant seed funding and its first game will be a new premium open world title for consoles and PC, although Tuesday’s announcement did not confirm if it was a racing type. .

Maverick’s management team also includes chief operating officer Harinder Sanga, who previously served as the studio’s co-chairman. Digital Sumo Leamington and executive producer Tom Butcher, former lead producer at Playground.

Chief Technology Officer Matt Craven was Playground’s Art Director, CTO Gareth Harewood was Xbox Studio’s Art Director, and Audio Director Fraser Strachan filled the same role at Forza Developer.

Former Playground studio art director Ben Penrose is the art director for Maverick, while ex-EA Experience Design Director Elly Marshall is the company’s UX/UI director.

“Our goal is for Maverick Games to become a studio people love,” Brown said. “For gamers, we’re already working on a very exciting, high-quality title, and for developers, we’re building a house where everyone is encouraged to take risks, to be curious, to be creative, to be creative, to be self-aware, and above all, be a non-conformist. »

Forza Horizon 5 was released in November 2021 and enjoyed the biggest launch in Xbox history, attracting over 10 million players in its first week, according to Microsoft.

Like all first-party games from Microsoft, the title is included with Xbox Game Pass, which is It has reached 20 million players in less than seven months.

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