Forza Horizon developer expands operations outside console space

Playground Games forms new mobile team

Forza Horizon studio Playground Games is forming a new mobile development team.

The studio was formed in 2009, and has since focused solely on console development, releasing its debut title Forza Horizon for Xbox 360 in 2012.

Speaking to Develop, creative director Ralph Fulton said the Leamington Spa developer would continue to focus most of its attention on console, confirming its work on a new Xbox One title, but was keen to also look at its options in the mobile space.

"I guess the first thing I’d say is that obviously we’re mainly a console developer," he said.

"We’ve been around for four years and we’ve been very successful in that area and that’s absolutely where we see our business continuing. We’re delighted to be working on an Xbox One title and we’re delighted to be really active at the start of this generation, a generation that looks like it’s going to exceed all previous ones in terms of unit sales and success.

"But obviously mobile is an exciting space, and we have the luxury as a company to be able to start looking at it as inherently creative people."

Still in the early stages of forming the new team, studio director Gavin Raeburn said one area the developer likely wouldn’t be touching on in mobile is racing, despite finding huge success with Forza Horizon, which helped it bag a Develop Award for best New Studio last year.

No distinct plans are currently in place for its first mobile title, but Playground Games is currently hiring for a designer to help spur on the creative process.

Fulton added that the studio was willing to give time to its mobile development operations, rather than attempting to rush a new game out the door.

"It’s something that we find really exciting," he said.

"I think unlike maybe a lot of companies, we do have the luxury of time that we’re able to explore things at our own pace."

Raeburn added: "It’s good that we can actually take that time to make considered decisions about where to move next, and I think that’s an advantage we have that other smaller teams don’t have."

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