Forza Horizon 5 studio co-founder leaves after 12 years

Forza Horizon and Fable developer Playground Games just lots its co-founder and director.

Microsoft has confirmed that Playground Games' co-founder and lead developer, Gavin Raeburn, has resigned from his position as director after spending over a decade at the helm of the award-winning studio.

Gavin Raeburn was in charge of the development of the Forza Horizon games for over a decade.

What's next for Gavin Raeburn?

Many consider Forza Horizon 5 as the series' best game yet.

Raeburn helped co-founded Playground Games back in 2009 alongside Trevor Williams and Ralph Fulton. Since then, the trio has led Playground to the creation of five award-winning games starting with 2012's Forza Horizon. Raeburn, in particular, is widely credited as one of the bright minds behind the Forza Horizon series of games, which many consider as the best racing game of all time.

Forza fans don't need to worry though. Gavin's replacement, Williams, is just as capable, and was one of the original co-founders of Playground Games.

Raeburn's departure comes as a bit of a surprise following the success of Forza Horizon 5. The game set the record for the most number of users for Xbox Game Studios. Not to mention, as Forza Horizon 4 before it, the game is scheduled to receive a constant stream of updates and new content over the next year or two.

We wouldn't be surprised if Raeburn takes his talents to another studio that's working on a new racing sim.

It will be interesting to see what Raeburn will work on now that he's no longer part of Playground Games. Raeburn's name is mostly associated with racing sims. Before establishing Playground, Raeburn was part of Codemasters and helped pioneer long-time racing sim franchises such as Dirt and Grid.

In addition to overseeing Forza Horizon 5's post-launch support as the new Studio Head, Raeburn's replacement, Williams, will also take charge of the development of Fable 4. The highly anticipated title has been in development for years and is Playground's first non-racing title. Microsoft apologized back in 2021 for teasing Fable 4 in 2020 only to have nothing to show. But, if it's any consolation, the game was included in a leaked list of upcoming titles with an October 14, 2023 release date.

Fingers crossed, Playground will drop details about Fable 4 within this year.

In other news, the Xbox Game Pass opened 2022 with a bang. After welcoming Mass Effect Legendary Edition earlier this month, Microsoft and Ubisoft announced that Rainbow Six Extraction will launch on the Xbox Game Pass as well. In addition, Ubisoft confirmed that Ubisoft+ will eventually make its way to Xbox consoles.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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