Playground Games devs form new triple-A, ‘forward-looking’ studio

Several former Forza Horizon developers from Playground Games have formed Maverick Games, a new “AAA” studio with a “forward-looking culture” that’s already working on a “new, premium open-world game for consoles and PC.”

Maverick founder and creative director Mike Brown previously worked as creative director at Playground Games on the Forza Horizon series. Along with Brown, other former Playground devs now at Maverick include executive producer Tom Butcher, CTO Matt Craven, content director Gareth Harwood, and audio director Fraser Strachan.

Joining them are COO Harinder Sangha, who previously worked as Sumo Digital Leamington’s co-studio head; art director Ben Penrose from Sharkmob London; and UX/UI director Elly Marshall, who was previously at Electronic Arts as its experience design director.

According to a statement from Brown, Maverick aims “to be a studio people will love. For Players, we’re already at work on an exciting ultra-high quality title, and for developers, we’re buidling a home where everyone is encouraged to take risks, be curious, be creative, be innovative, be themselves, and above all—be a Maverick.”

As for Brown’s previous studio, Playground hasn’t said anything about the next Forza Horizon game just yet. We know the studio is still working on Fable, but it announced that game all the way back in 2020 and we’ve yet to hear much more about it. Plus, Brown isn’t the only high-profile exit that Playground has seen since Fable‘s reveal. Co-founder Gavin Raeburn left the studio last year after 12 years.

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