The Forza Horizon devs are working on an open-world title.
According to Gamesindustry.biz, the new studio will be opened in Leamington Spa (England), “hopefully in walking distance” of their current HQ in the same area.
“Opening another studio is something we’ve been talking about for a good few years, but we’ve been keen not to rush into it,” founder and creative director Ralph Fulton says. “It’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves in a different genre.
“We feel like we’ve become pretty good at racing games over the years. We can always get better, we can always strive to get better but we’d love to prove ourselves in a different genre. That’s another goal of Project 2, to allow us to do that. We’re going to need to hire some very talented people with experience that we don’t have.”
While we don’t know much on the new project just yet, we do know that it is open-world, and not related to the Forza series.
As far as the location for the new studio is concerned, understandably, it was all about proximity to food (and bevs).
“It was a prerequisite when we set up Playground that we wanted to be in the town centre so that we could have a range of options for lunch, we could walk to the pub after work – not just because we like food and drink but because those things build team spirit and bonding. The ability to go after a pint with anyone on the team really helps developers bond over time. Wherever this new studio is around this area, it’s important that we can do the same or similar.”
There’s no need to worry about the small team – 115 – being too over-worked, either. New leadership roles will be created for the new title, meaning no-one will be too over-encumbered.
“We are looking at an entirely new leadership team for the new project, which we’re in the process of hiring right now. And we’re going to try and make sure that nothing on the two projects depends on one person, because both of the teams should be thinking about their own project. There will be people like myself who are able to oversee both of them, but only to make sure everything’s heading in the right direction. The people who are actually doing the work will be dedicated to their project.”
With Forza Horizon 3 proving to be such a hit on the current gen of consoles, there’s no telling where Playground will go with this new venture. Stay tuned.