It's been announced today that Playground Games (Forza Horizon) co-founder Gavin Raeburn has assembled a "veteran team" to form a new AAA games studio called "Lighthouse Games", currently working on an unannounced IP.
The team actually includes 30 former colleagues of Raeburn's, including "key founding members of Playground Games’ original team, and the intention is to create a "genre-defining franchise". No pressure, then!
Here's what Raeburn had to say about the new studio in a press release:
“I’m delighted that 30 former colleagues and other industry heavyweights have chosen to join me at Lighthouse. With Horizon, Playground and I created one of the most successful Xbox franchises of all time. We delivered significant commercial success year after year, to massive critical acclaim, following the success from my time at Codemasters leading Dirt, Grid and F1.
That DNA is now at Lighthouse, and with it, we intend to build something truly special using all our experience to create a new genre-defining franchise.”
This is actually the second time we've seen a story like this in 2023, with Forza Horizon 5 creative director Mike Brown also currently heading up a new AAA project at Maverick Games, so there's an awful lot of ex-Forza ambition out there!
It'll be interesting to see how Lighthouse Games and Maverick Games squeeze their way into the racing genre in years to come, and also how Forza Horizon will adapt over the next few years following some of these high-profile departures.