Forza Horizon Devs Open New Studio for a Non-Racing Title

Forza Horizon 3 Train Showcase

The developers behind the Forza Horizon series, Playground Games, have opened a new sister studio. The new team will focus on creating a “brand new IP” somewhere within the open-world genre. However, Ralph Fulton, founder and creative director, remains steady that Forza Horizon will remain “the cornerstone” of the studio.

The team is still in the early stages of getting set up – with the only information on the new game being open-world and not a racing game. Fulton discusses how, “It’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves in a different genre.”

Talking to gamesindustry.biz, he describes how “we’ve become pretty good at racing games over the years. We can always get better, we can always strive to get better but we’d love to prove ourselves in a different genre. That’s another goal of Project 2, to allow us to do that. We’re going to need to hire some very talented people with experience that we don’t have.”

Some members from the current team will cross-over however. As of now, Playground Games is up to 115 staff – with plans to expand to 200. The original studio was only founded back in 2010 by ex-developers of Criterion, Bizarre Creations and Codemasters.

Up until now, the team has solely developed Forza Horizon titles exclusively for Microsoft – but the studio remains independent. It is unknown whether ‘Project 2’ will remain Microsoft-backed.

The team’s most recent title, Forza Horizon 3, “was a watershed game for us – it’s certainly our best-reviewed game critically, it’s our most commercially successful game as well. It’s the first time we’ve experienced that commercial breakout hit phenomenon – the other games have been successful but not on the level of this one. We want to keep doing that. In a way, that game took six years to make. So we want to keep developing that skillset and pushing new boundaries.