ex Forza Horizon developers become Maverick Games

Forza Horizon Developers Leave: What it Means

Forza Horizon 5

Last week, we heard the news that Senior Developers behind the Forza Horizon franchise left Microsoft. What does this mean for Forza Horizon 6 and what is to come for the brand new Maverick Games studio?

Image Credit: Maverick Games

Ever since its first iteration in 2012, the Forza Horizon series has topped charts in the open world racing game genre.

From humble beginnings with a small map in Colorado, the franchise has spanned 10 years and three console generations, also making the move to PC. Today, it’s a vast online experience featuring races, mini games and plenty of car culture all condensed across a map replicating the entirety of Mexico.

However, after five editions of Forza Horizon, the team behind it has disbanded. News emerged last week that much of the senior development team responsible for the franchise had left Playground Games. The crew is sticking together however and has launched a new studio, Maverick Games.

Spearheading the group, as was the case throughout recent Forza Horizon development featuring in media appearances, is Mike Brown. He is joined by Tom Butcher, Matt Craven, Gareth Harwood, Fraser Stachan and Ben Penrose. Each is a former Playground Games senior employee are all moving to managerial roles at Maverick Games. Certainly a talented and promising team.

Maverick Games: What is on the Horizon?

Founded by several ex-Forza Horizon developers, Maverick Games is reportedly a new games studio based in Leamington Spa in the UK. According to reports, the team is already pressing on with development of a new game.

All we know so far is that this will be a AAA open world title. Though it is as yet unclear whether it will be a racing game, or if will feature cars at all. Based on the team’s clear passion for car culture, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them release a Horizon rival in the near future.

The creation of this new studio is certainly good for the gaming industry. Not only does it shake things up at Playground Games, it also adds more competition to the space. Maverick Games will now hopefully push other teams to make better games, elevating the overall level of the industry. If so, we gamers can only revel in what’s to come.

The new studio is also great news for up and coming developers. With a whole new team forming, it creates new opportunities for developers to work on large-scale gaming projects. In fact, the young outift’s Twitter page is already calling for talented individuals to join its team.

Good News for Forza Horizon 6?

As I say, this new move has effects across the entire gaming industry. None more so than at Playground Games, however. With much of its senior team gone, the studio behind Forza Horizon will need to shake up its developer line-up. Team members that perhaps sat in the shadows in the past will now have more of a leading role.

It’s fair to say that the FH franchise has been somewhat stuck in a rut in recent editions. Fans will look back at the original game wondering where things went downhill. The first iteration saw an up and coming driver fight their way through the ranks of the Horizon festival. Whereas the most recent Forza Horizon 5 game sees everything handed to the player for simply existing. To many, this isn’t the rewarding experience we look back at fondly.

With new team members adding their vision to the franchise, things might be looking up. As they say, change can only be a good thing. That being said, it will certainly take time for the new development team to get settled, so expect a longer gap between releases before Forza Horizon 6.

Does this news leave you hopeful or pessimistic about the next Forza Horizon release? Let us know by sending a tweet @OverTake_gg or leave a comment down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!