Forza and Fable 4 studio co-founder departs after 13 years

Forza Horizon 5
(Image credit: Playground Games)

Playground Games' co-founder and lead developer Gavin Raeburn has exited the studio.

As  spotted by Windows Central, Gavin Raeburn, who helped co-found Playground Games over a decade ago in 2009, has departed the studio. Raeburn is replaced as studio head by Trevor Williams, who was one of the original co-founders of the developer alongside Raeburn in 2009.

You might now associate Playground Games with the prolific Forza series on Xbox consoles and PC, and that makes sense given Raeburn's background. The veteran developer spent time pioneering the likes of the Dirt and Grid racing game franchises before departing Codemasters to establish Playground.

Microsoft confirmed Raeburn's departure, and Williams' promotion to studio head, in a statement to Windows Central earlier today. "After 12 years working on five award-winning Forza Horizon games, Gavin Raeburn is leaving Playground Games as Studio Director," the statement read. "Co-founder Trevor Williams will transition from General Manager to Studio Head effective immediately."

With post-launch support for Forza Horizon 5 continuing at Playground Games, Williams is also now overseeing development of the hotly-anticipated Fable 4. The reboot for Microsoft's beloved saga was officially announced after much rumor and speculation nearly two years ago in 2020, but we've seen nothing of the reboot since then. All we know is that it's in development at Playground, will use the same game engine as Forza Motorsport, and is a fair way off from launching.

Read our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a full look at all the other games arriving on Xbox's new-gen console at some point in the future.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.