Forza Horizon‘s former creative director, Mike Brown and several members of his team have come together to form a new UK-based AAA games studio in Leamington Spa, known as Maverick Games. Once part of Playground Games which were the developers behind the Forza Horizon franchise as well as the upcoming Fable reboot, Mike Brown and other former Playground employees are now working on “an open-world premium AAA game for consoles and PC.”

With a team consisting of ten members including executive producer, Tom Butcher, Matt Craven, the chief technical officer, Gareth Harwood, a technical art director for Playground and now a content director for Maverick and Fraser Stachan, an audio director. Finally, Ben Penrose will take on the role of art director with Elly Marshall heading the UX/UI side of the business. The team will be headed by COO, Harinder Sangha who is an award-winning studio leader.

Maverick Games Group Shot 1
The Maverick team. Image source:

Speaking to, Brown said, “As much as I had an amazing journey at Playground, I was asking myself, what’s next? Do I stick with this fun, good job? Or do I look for other opportunities?” He also confirms that he is looking to build a studio that can take risks as well as encouraging a work environment where staff are not afraid to speak up. COO, Sangha also attests to this, “We’ve all been places that haven’t been so great, this is about putting them in an environment where they’re challenged, where they’re involved in what’s going on, they have a voice, they’re appreciated, they’re valued.”

As of now, Maverick Games has reportedly secured funding and is actively working on their first game as a studio. “The team that we’ve got, the set-up that we’ve got, gives us confidence and security,” Brown told Although we are unsure what their first game will entail, Brown has made no secret about his love for open-world game more than the driving genre which could give us a vague hint. It also looks like Maverick Games will cater to all consoles and PC instead of releasing Xbox-exclusives common for Playground Games. Until more information is revealed, you can keep up to date with their projects via their Twitter and website.

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