‘Forza Horizon’ developers found new studio and start work on “premium” open-world title

"For developers, we’re building a home where everyone is encouraged to take risks"

Former Playground Games creative director Mike Brown has announced the formation of Maverick Games, a new studio that’s currently developing a “premium open-world game” for console and PC platforms.

The new studio was announced today (January 10) and will see Brown serve as creative director and studio head.

He will be joined by Sumo Digital Leamington‘s former co-studio head Harinder Sangha, who will serve as COO. Additionally, a number of Brown’s fellow developers at Playground Games will be joining Maverick Games in senior positions. In their new roles, Tom Butcher joins as executive producer, Gareth Harwood as content director, Matt Craven as CTO, and Fraser Strachan as audio director.


Additionally, Ben Penrose will join as art director – and while he’s coming from Sharkmob London, he was previously Playground Games’ studio art director. Finally, Elly Marshall – former experience design director at EA – will be Maverick Games’ UX/UI director.

In a press release, Maverick Games confirmed that it already has “significant seed funding” and has started to work on its debut game, which will be a “premium open-world game for consoles and PC.”

“Our goal is for Maverick Games to be a studio people will love,” shared 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.”

On Twitter, Brown added that there was “no bad blood” involved with his departure from Playground Games.

Maverick Games’ studio will be located in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, and is looking to recruit “motivated and talented” developers via its website.

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