The development team behind Forza Horizon, Playground Games, has announced plans to open a second office in order to work on a new IP in a new genre for the studio.
Playground Games hopes to open the new office “within walking distance” of the current headquarters in the town centre of Leamington Spa, and to grow the staff headcount from its current 115 to over 200. Despite being under the Playground Games umbrella, the new studio will be almost entirely autonomous, with “an entirely new leadership team” and a focus on allowing the team to “to test [itself] in a different genre.”
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Ralph Fulton, Playground Games’s founder and creative director, revealed that the new game, codenamed Project 2, will be open-world, though further details were not forthcoming. However, a primary goal of Project 2 is to provide better opportunities for career development for existing staff members, some of whom began their careers with Playground Games when it opened back in 2010.
Despite this, work on the Forza series will continue at the studio, with Fulton saying that “it remains the cornerstone of our business – we’re not running away from racing, we still feel passionate about making new racing games and delivering new experiences for our players.”
The move to a new IP may mean that a new publishing partner will be brought on board, which could give Nintendo and PlayStation fans a chance to finally go hands-on with the work of this highly-acclaimed studio.
Playground Games’s latest title was last year’s Forza Horizon 3, which OnlySP’s Nick Calandra scored 9/10, saying “makes a strong case for itself from the moment you’re plopped into the game, given a car, and asked to race against a helicopter hauling a jeep high above your head as you traverse the lush jungles of Australia. In a matter of maybe five minutes, you’re treated to some of the best visuals the Xbox One has to offer yet, a top notch soundtrack and, of course, a deluge of cars to drive.”
If Project 2 is confirmed to be a single-player title, OnlySP will be sure to cover it going forward, alongside future entries in the Forza series.