Prominent Forza Horizon 5 Devs Quit To Form AAA Studio Maverick Games

Maverick Games is created around the idea of building a studio people will love.

Playground Games has worked on a variety of prominent titles under the Xbox umbrella, and it has infallibly developed Microsoft’s Forza Horizon series since it was founded in 2010. The studio is also developing the anticipated and highly-awaited Fable reboot.

However, the Microsoft powerhouse may have lost some of its central leads, as many developers that worked on the recent Forza Horizon 5 have called quits to form a new studio.

Forza Horizon 5 creative director and a few other developers have created a new independent studio dubbed Maverick Games, which is catered around taking creative risks. Moreover, the new studio is already developing a premium open-world experience for consoles and PC.

Major Takeaway

  • Central Forza Horizon 5 developers have called it quits to create a new AAA studio dubbed Maverick Games, with Mike Brown as the creative director alongside five other ex-Playground Games developers.
  • The other developers include Matt Craven, as the chief technical officer; Gareth Harwood, as the content director; Fraser Stachan, as the audio director and Ben Penrose, the art director respectively.
  • The new AAA studio is seemingly built around taking “creative risks,” and will become a studio that “people will love.” Moreover, the team has already hinted at their next project.
  • The developers of the fresh studio are already secured funding to invest in its premium “exciting ultra-high quality title.” It will be an open-world AAA premium title; it will be created with the ambition to win awards.

Maverick Games is founded near Playground Games in the United Kingdom’s popular games studio town of Leamington Spa. Many prominent figures have come along to run the new AAA studio. The creative director for the new company, Mike Brown, was also the creative director for the Forza Horizon series. 

The rest of the 5 ex-Playground Games developers include the technical director, Matt Craven, as the chief technical officer.

The former technical art director, Gareth Harwood, helming as Maverick Games’ content director. Fraser Stachan and Ben Penrose, the audio director and the art director for the new studio, keeping their former roles.

Following a press release, Maverick Games has already underlined its goals. The fresh studio is reportedly already “actively working on its new game,” after securing “significant seed funding.” Mike Brown also stated, “Our goal is for Maverick Games 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 building a home where everyone is encouraged to take risks, be curious, be creative, be innovative, be themselves, and above all – be a Maverick,” stated Mike in the press release.

Mike Brown also appeared in an interview with to discuss the aspirations and future plans for the studio. The studio will indulge in taking and inspiring creative risks, trying new things, and celebrating the process of game development.

It is a truism that you can be creative, or you can be cautious, but you can’t be both. You either decide to mitigate risks, which limits creativity, or you embrace risks, which releases creativity. We are going to build a team where we really encourage them to take creative risks, to try new things, and really celebrates that as part of our culture,” noted Mike.

Moreover, the studio also stated about its next game, with Brown commenting, “I’d definitely describe myself as an open world guy first, rather than a driving guy, the game will be open world, it will be AAA, it will be premium, it will have the ambition to go on and win all the awards…

He also iterated, “games need to compete. So we need to build our games where we are always addressing every player, always giving them something to do, never letting them to get to that bit in a game where it’s just going to repeat for 15 hours until you get to the credits.

All in all, trekking the voyage of Maverick Games will be interesting for the gaming community. The fresh studio is full of inspired developers with wings looking to scour all the options without any constraints. Moreover, the hinted AAA game may not manifest for the next decade, but it may turn out to be something we never expected.

What are your thoughts about the former Playground Games and Forza Horizon 5 leads leaving the studio to create a new AAA studio? Do you think the new studio will be able to retain the finesse of developers and compete on an AAA level? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below.

Similar Reads: The Game Awards’ Twitter Thinks Halo Was Paramount’s No.1 Show Last Year.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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