Ex-Playground Games Head Founds Brand New "World-Class" Studio

Published: March 27, 2023 9:51 AM /


Cars driving in Forza Horizon 5, a Playground Games title

Playground Games founder and former studio head Gavin Raeburn has announced that he's formed a brand new development outfit. Lighthouse Games is a new AAA studio based in Leamington Spa in the UK, and it's currently hard at work on what Raeburn calls a "new genre-defining franchise".

Raeburn officially announced his departure from Playground Games in January last year, having been at the studio for 12 years. His new venture consists of "world-class developers", according to a press release, and is currently working on a new, as-yet-unannounced IP.


It's not clear whether this IP will be a racing game, but in the press release announcing Lighthouse Games' establishment, Raeburn points to DirtGrid, and F1 as major successes of his while he was at Codemasters. Raeburn's name is known among racing game aficionado circles, so it's highly possible that he and his new studio are working on a racer, although all we know right now is that it's a "new best-in-class game".

A car fording a river in Forza Horizon 5, a Playground Games title
Gavin Raeburn oversaw development on games like Forza Horizon 5 while at Playground Games.

Raeburn's press release says that the mission statement of Lighthouse Games is to be "at the bleeding edge of video game development" and to enable an "environment that feels truly collaborative". We'll have to wait and see whether Raeburn makes good on this promise and what his inaugural project with Lighthouse will look like.

Of course, Raeburn isn't the only former Playground Games exec to found his own studio. Back in January this year, ex-Playground staffers, including Forza Horizon creative director Mike Brown and Playground audio director Fraser Strachan, set up Maverick Games, which is also working on a "premium" new game. Will Raeburn and Lighthouse be in direct competition with Maverick? It's early days.


Playground Games, meanwhile, is currently hard at work on the Fable reboot, which has been mysteriously silent since its announcement all the way back in July 2020. Here's hoping we hear more about it at this year's showcase, which is coming in June. Stay tuned for more info on that and all other things Playground-related.

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