It's been a busy year or so for Forza Horizon
developer Playground Games. In addition to working on the upcoming Forza Horizon 4
, the studio was acquired
by Microsoft and opened a second studio
to work on an upcoming RPG — believed
to be something in the Fable
franchise. Well, as reported by gamesindustry.biz
, the studio has continued picking up talent for this second studio with six new hires.
The first hire is Scotty Brown from EA Motive, where he worked on Star Wars Battlefront II
as a principal environmental artist and will hold the same role at Playground.
Another hire from an EA studio is lead environmental artist Noel Lukasewich. While at Bioware, he worked on all four Mass Effect
games, as well as the original trilogy's DLC.
The third and fourth hires both arrive from fellow Microsoft studio Ninja Theory with principal animator Chris Goodall and lead technician Rob den Dekker. Goodall has worked on Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
, DmC: Devil May Cry
and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
at the Cambridge studio whereas den Dekker already has quite the history with Microsoft providing QA on the original Fable
and Fable II
, as well as Playground's own Forza Horizon 2
From Rocksteady Studios comes narrative director Martin Lancaster. At Rocksteady, he served as a scriptwriter on the two most recent Batman
games, working as a senior scriptwriter on Batman: Arkham Knight
before taking the lead scriptwriter role on Batman: Arkham VR
The final hire is lead UI artist Joe McKernan, who returns to the studio after four years. After working on the first two Forza Horizon
titles, McKernan then worked on Horizon: Zero Dawn
at Guerrilla Games and Destiny 2
Clockwise from top left: Noel Lukasewich, Rob den Dekker, Scotty Brown, Chris Goodall, Joe McKernan and Martin Lancaster
Playground Games studio director Gavin Raeburn was clearly happy with the news when speaking to gamesindustry.biz:
I'm really pleased with the quality of the team we're building here at Playground. We continue to attract world-class talent from around the world thanks to our exciting projects and the passion of our team. It's been a fantastic start for our second studio and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow over the coming months.
Naturally, we wish the new hires all the best, and can't wait to see exactly what it is they're working on!