Ex-Forza Horizon Devs Working on Narrative-Led AAA Driving Game

a logo for maverick games is displayed on a blurry background of a car .

a logo for maverick games is displayed on a blurry background of a car .

Back in 2022, several key Forza Horizon developers, including former creative director Mike Brown, left Playground Games to form Maverick Games, a new AAA studio based in Warwick, UK. Now, the studio has announced that its first project is, unsurprisingly, a driving game.

Published by Amazon Games, the untitled game is said to be an AAA “narrative-led, open-world driving game.” There’s no release window yet, but the studio's first driving game is set to release on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.

With a narrative helmed by lead writer Jamie Brittain, the co-creator of the teen drama Skins, the project will be more story-driven than other open-world racers like Forza Horizon 5, The Crew Motorfest, and Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown.

Maverick Games team photo
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Credit: Maverick Games / Amazon Games

“Lots of great driving games have amazing gameplay, amazing content,” said Maverick Games’ studio head and creative director Mike Brown. “But to really cross that bridge, to become a game that people genuinely love, then there needs to be that human connection where you’re actually rooting for these characters, falling in love with these characters.

“That, I think, is a place where our game will be able to really differentiate itself from the other titles in the genre. There’s nothing about this genre that prevents it from having amazing characters and amazing stories — it’s just not really been explored yet.”

Alongside Brown, other racing game veterans working on the project include executive producer Tom Butcher (Forza Horizon series, F1 All-Stars), CTO Matt Craven (Forza Horizon series, GRID, DIRT), content director Gareth Harwood (Forza Horizon series, Fable reboot), audio director Fraser Strachan (Forza Horizon series), art director Ben Penrose (Forza Horizon Series, Fable reboot) and visual design director Elly Marshall (Forza Horizon 3, Just Cause 3, DIRT).

Meanwhile, Playground Games is currently working on a new entry in the Fable series. Forza Horizon 6 is also presumed to be in development but has yet to be officially announced. Fans are hoping to see a first glimpse of the next Forza Horizon at the Xbox Games Showcase next week, but we'll have to wait and see.

Racing games aren’t renowned for having engrossing storylines, so we’re intrigued to find out how Maverick Games plans to change this perception and shake up the open-world driving genre.

Are you excited about this new project by ex-Forza Horizon developers?

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