Gavin Raeburn, co-founder of Playground Games and now former studio director, has decided to leave the studio.
“After 12 years working on five award-winning Forza Horizon games, Gavin Raeburn is leaving Playground Games as Studio Director,” said Alan Harman, Microsoft CVP of Forza and Fable in a statement to Windows Central. “A founding member of Playground Games, we thank Gav for his leadership and contributions to the Forza franchise and wish him all the best.”
Gavin Raeburn along with Ralph Fulton and Trevor Williams founded Playground Games back in November of 2009 and went on to develop the first Forza Horizon with Turn 10 Studios for Xbox. They continued to produce sequels to Forza Horizon up to and including Forza Horizon 5, which released back in November to phenomenal success and positive critical reception.
Raeburn is kind of a badass veteran in the gaming industry and is known for working on classic games like The Equalizer on the Commodore 64. He then went off to work on Codemasters’ TOCA Championship, DiRT and GRID, some of the most beloved racing games. It was after leaving Codemasters that he became a co-founder and director at Playground Games. There he helped build one of Microsoft’s most important studios and the Forza Horizon series ended up outshining the original Forza Motorsport.
Taking Raeburn’s place is co-founder Trevor Williams, who will transition from General Manager to Studio Head effective immediately, as the Playground Games team focuses on updates to Forza Horizon 5 and the development of Fable. There’s no indication yet that Raeburn will sign up to join a different studio or publisher, but we can expect Williams to resume the work left behind for Fables’ franchise reboot while overseeing future updates to Forza Horizon.
As a fresh release, updates and development to Forza Horizon 5 likely remain a priority for Playground while they continue to work on a much awaited Fable reboot.