Skip to main content

‘Forza Horizon’ studio to open 2nd studio, but it won’t make a racing game

Forza Horizon developer Playground Games is only about seven years old, but the racing game studio is already expanding significantly. A second branch will be opening a short distance from its main Leamington Spa, England, headquarters, and it will begin working on a new open-world game. It won’t, however, have anything to do with racing.

“We feel like we’ve become pretty good at racing games over the years,” Ralph Fulton, Playground Games creative director, told “We can always get better, [and] we can always strive to get better, but we’d love to prove ourselves in another genre.”

Though the studio’s second branch will be brand new, it will be staffed partially by veteran Playground Games employees. The company also plans to add about 85 positions in the future to presumably work on the unannounced open-world game rather Microsoft’s Forza series. The developer hopes to keep the teams working on the two games completely separate from one another so that “nothing on the two projects depends on one person.”

Playground Games’ track record so far has been essentially flawless. In 2012, Forza Horizon brought the Forza series into an open-world setting for the first time, and this approach was further polished in the game’s 2014 sequel. With last year’s Forza Horizon 3, the studio took the “Horizon Festival” to the beautiful land of Australia, with a diverse range of environments letting drivers zip through wooded areas, drift around city streets, and even satisfy their skateboarding fix with a construction area filled with ramps.

It would be great to see Playground breathe new life into another existing franchise, but it might be even better to let the studio develop an all-new IP.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Halo Infinite campaign co-op won’t launch with season 2
Spartans dressed as samurai in Halo Infinite.

Anyone who is waiting to play through Halo Infinite's open world with a friend will have to wait a bit longer than anticipated. The feature, which was supposed to be added in with the game's second multiplayer season, has been delayed.

In a news post on Halo Waypoint, developer 343 Industries detailed its plans for the game's second season of content. Along with detailing the new weapons and maps players will be getting in the new season, titled Lone Wolves, the developer revealed that it needs more time to "land a high-quality, full-featured 4-player network co-op experience in the massive, wide-open world of Halo Infinite." When the game's second season launches on May 3, it won't add campaign co-op.

Read more
Forza Horizon 5 is getting sign language support tomorrow
A car following the racing line as it changes color around a corner in Forza Horizon 5.

Microsoft's previously promised sign language support for Forza Horizon 5 is about to arrive in a huge step forward for accessibility in games. The Xbox giant partnered with Forza developer Playground Games and the Deaf and hard of hearing community to create video subtitles for players.

The free updates arrives March 1 and includes American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) support for over 300 in-game cinematics. While accessibility options and resources have become more common in AAA games in recent years, sign language support is still very rare.

Read more
E3 2022 won’t happen in-person (and Summer Game Fest has already clapped back)
e3 2022 online only logo

For the third year in a row, E3 2022 will not happen as an in-person event. The Entertainment Software Association, which organizes the expo, has confirmed that the physical show has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the virus' new Omicron variant. In fact, the ESA didn't technically confirm that the show will happen in 2022 at all.

The news was broken by VentureBeat, which released a statement from the ESA regarding the yearly video game press conference. “Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,” the ESA tells VentureBeat, “We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”

Read more