Forza Horizon 5 Studio Director Parts Ways With Playground Games

Playground Games Co-Founder Gavin Raeburn Leaves the Studio

Microsoft has confirmed that the Co-Founder of the studio behind Forza Horizon 5 is leaving the company. Gavin Raeburn was the driving force behind the franchise. He is, indeed, a veteran in the gaming industry. 

He is being replaced by his co-founder, Trevor Williams. Together, they built Playground from the ground up back in 2010.

forza horizon 5 studio playground games gavin raeburn step down

After 12 years of working on five award-winning Forza Horizon games, Gavin Raeburn is leaving Playground Games as Studio Director,said Microsoft Corporate Vice President Alan Hartman. “A founding member of Playground Games, we thank Gav for his leadership and contributions to the Forza franchise and wish him all the best.”

From here on out, Williams will be leading the team. “Co-Founder Trevor Williams will transition from General Manager to Studio Head effective immediately,” Hartman added. The team will continue to focus “on updates to Forza Horizon 5 and the development of Fable.”

At the moment, it remains unclear if the former Forza Horizon 5 dev is moving on to another industry job or if he is retiring. If he is bowing out while he is on top, he is definitely leaving quite the impressive legacy in his wake.

Raeburn started his career in the gaming industry in 1986. He began as a one-man studio, designing and developing a side-scrolling shoot-em-up game. He was then hired full-time by Codemasters. Through the late 80s and early 90s, he worked on a lot of projects such as Rock Star Ate My Hamster and Psycho Pinball.

Raeburn led the development of TOCA Touring Car Championship. Before long, Codemasters started to specialize entirely in racing games.

He then left Codemasters to found Playground Games with Williams. During his stint at Playground, he oversaw the production of five massively successful Forza Horizon titles.

Did you play a lot of Raeburn’s games? Let us know in the comments below.