Key talent behind Microsofts Forza series has left Playground Games to form a new AAA studio

Some of the leaders behind the Forza Horizon series have formed a new AAA games studio in Leamington Spa called Maverick Games.

The team is led by studio head and creative director Mike Brown, who was previously the creative director on the Forza Horizon franchise. He is joined by other ex-Playground veterans including executive producer Tom Butcher, CTO Matt Craven, content director Gareth Harwood and audio director Fraser Strachan. Ben Penrose has joined the company as Art Director from Sharkmob (but was also a former Playground employee), and Elly Marshall has been named UX/UI Director, following her role as experience design director at EA.

Running the studio itself is COO Harinder Sangha. Sangha is an award-winning studio leader who helped form Sega Hardlight and Sumo Leamington.

The company currently has ten employees, with the aim to grow to 140. And it is working on an open-world premium AAA game for consoles and PC.