Playground Games Pick Up Some More Talent For Their Second Studio

By Andy Mills, 6 months ago
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, the studio has continued picking up talent for this second studio with six new hires.

Playground Games

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 at Bungie.

Clockwise from top left: Noel Lukasewich, Rob den Dekker, Scotty Brown, Chris Goodall, Joe McKernan and Martin LancasterClockwise 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

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!
Andy Mills
Written by Andy Mills
Just one of the fine Newshounds on TrueAchievements. An achievement hunter, and a lover of all kinds of games.