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 Gamesindustry.biz. “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.
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