Playground Games, the Microsoft-owned studio responsible for the Forza Horizon and Fable franchises, has parted ways with co-founder and studio director Gavin Raeburn. Raeburn is to be replaced by co-founder Trevor Williams with immediate effect. In a statement, Microsoft vice president for Forza and Fable Alan Hartman said:

“We thank Gav for his leadership and contributions to the Forza franchise and wish him all the best.”

No announcement has yet been made on what Raeburn plans to do next, but if he retires he leaves an impressive legacy in his wake. He began his career in the video game industry in 1986 as an individual studio, designing and developing a side-scrolling shoot-’em-up called the Terminator (unrelated to the film of the same name). Soon he was taken on full-time by Codemasters, and in the late ’80s and early’ 90s he worked on a wide variety of titles including Psycho Pinball and the infamous Rock Star Ate My Hamster.

Related: The fastest cars in Forza Horizon 5

During that first decade, Raeburn produced only one racing game, the 1989 Rallycross Simulator, but in 1996 it turned entirely to racing games, leading the development of the ultra-realistic classic. , TOCA Touring Car Championship. The success of TOCA led to the development of Colin McRae Rally, and soon after, Codemasters became a studio entirely specializing in racing games, with TOCA and Colin McRae eventually becoming the Grid and Dirt franchises, respectively.

Raeburn left Codemasters to form Playground Games in 2010, and over the next 12 years he oversaw the production of five blockbuster Forza Horizon games. Playground is currently working on updates to Forza Horizon 5 and the development of a new Fable game.


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