Amazon teams up with ex-Forza Horizon team for a new open-world driving game, and I'm already excited

Maverick Games and Amazon logos
(Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Maverick Games, founded by ex-Forza Horizon team members that have since departed Playground Games, has signed a deal with Amazon for its first title. 
  • The currently unnannounced game will be a "narrative-led, open-world driving game" 
  • The Amazon published title will be headed to PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5. 

It's always sad to see talent leave Xbox first-party studios, but it's also exciting to see where they go next. That's exactly what we're looking at here, with news that Maverick Games has signed a deal with Amazon Games to publish its first game. 

Maverick Games, who are they? The UK-based studio was founded by a number of ex-Playground Games team members, including the Forza Horizon 5 Creative Director, Mike Brown. Yeah, now you see why I'm excited. 

The pedigree of the Maverick Games team is clear for all to see, and with the backing of Amazon it'll be bringing its first title to PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5. 

Amazon Games announced today that it has reached an agreement with Maverick Games to publish a new AAA multi-platform title. The unannounced game will be a narrative-led, open-world driving game for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.

Amazon Games

What makes it all the more interesting is that it sounds as though the team is sticking with what it knows best. Forza Horizon is one of my all-time favorite franchises, and with that kind of experience building this new open-world racer driving game, the chances are already pretty high that it's going to blow the doors off. 

In a further interview with Amazon Games, studio head Mike Brown lays out the vision of the new title, and it doesn't sound like we'll simply be getting a Forza Horizon 5 clone. 

“Lots of great driving games have amazing gameplay, amazing content. But to really cross that bridge, to become a game that people genuinely love, then there needs to be that human connection where you’re actually rooting for these characters, falling in love with these characters. That, I think, is a place where our game will be able to really differentiate itself from the other titles in the genre. There’s nothing about this genre that prevents it from having amazing characters and amazing stories — it’s just not really been explored yet.”

Mike Brown, Maverick Games

The Maverick Games team certainly has the pedigree and experience to make a great open world racer, having most recently been involved in making Forza Horizon 5.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

I'm really interested in all this. Let's face it, Forza Horizon has never been about its story, if you can even really call it a story. There are narrative elements, and some modes are more geared to this than others, but mostly it's been about fast cars, close racing, and glorious settings. 

Ubisoft also tried the narrative open-world racer with the now discontinued title, The Crew. This had more of a storyline to it than Forza Horizon games have enjoyed, but it wasn't great, and it certainly wasn't why people fell in love with the game. 

To back up this desire for a narrative-led game, Maverick has tapped up the talents of Jamie Brittain, a BAFTA award winner best known for the TV show, Skins. 

There's no word yet on when we can expect to hear more about this unnamed title, but it's already starting to sound like something that I really want to play. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at