Playground Games Studio Director and co-founder Gavin Raeburn leaves Microsoft

Forza Horizon 5 promotional screenshot

Forza Horizon 5 is a fantastic experience and the team at Playground Games keeps on refining the open-world racing formula with every iteration. Gavin Raeburn, the Studio Director and co-founder of the studio, is an influential figure in the games industry because he's worked on popular racing franchises like DiRT and GRID. Playground Games was acquired by Microsoft a few years ago to bolster its first-party lineup, and so far, the developer has delivered with every experience.

Today, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Forza and Fable, Alan Hartman, announced that Raeburn was leaving Playground Games and co-founder Trevor Williams was taking over. Hartman shared the following message with Windows Central. It's unclear what Raeburn will do in the future.

After 12 years working on five award-winning Forza Horizon games, Gavin Raeburn is leaving Playground Games as Studio Director. A founding member of Playground Games, we thank Gav for his leadership and contributions to the Forza franchise and wish him all the best. Co-founder Trevor Williams will transition from General Manager to Studio Head effective immediately, as the Playground Games team focuses on updates to Forza Horizon 5 and the development of Fable.

The news of Raeburn's departure comes just a day after 343 Industries announced that Halo Infinite Lead Narrative Designer, Aaron Linde, was leaving the team and joining Riot Games. Riot Games is known for the League of Legends series.

Halo Infinite told a surprisingly emotional story while only focusing on three characters. It's one of the best games to launch in 2021 because it blends classic first-person combat with an open-world setting.

We wish both Linde and Raeburn the best going forward. It'll be interesting to see projects from them in the future.

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