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Former Forza Horizon developers team up with Amazon for a story-led open-world racing game

Written by Skins co-creator Jamie Brittain, no less

Published: 31 May 2024

Maverick Games, an assembly of key developers who formerly made the Metacritic-breaking Forza Horizon series, is making a new open-world racer. But more than that, it’s on a mission to do it in a way that hasn’t been explored before.

Partnering with some plucky indie publisher called Amazon Games, Maverick wants to create a racer with a story. And not the kind of story where a racer gets in a car and wins loads of races. A story. With characters and stuff.

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The project has just broken cover via a post on Amazon Games’ official site, and it sounds like one of the most ambitious projects the genre’s seen in many years.

“Lots of great driving games have amazing gameplay, amazing content,” says Mike Brown, studio head and creative director at Maverick Games, and former creative director at Playground Games. “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.”

To that end, Maverick has signed up BAFTA-winning Skins co-creator Jamie Brittain, a writer with a knack for memorable characters like the boisterous and troubled Cook, and chipped black nail polish enthusiast Effy.

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“That is Jamie’s superpower,” says Brown. “It’s creating those characters that are flawed and actually a little bit weird - just like the rest of us - and through that we can empathise with them, we can fall in love with them.”

Although Maverick Games are going public by announcing this project, it’s early days – they haven’t revealed a name yet, let alone a car list or a location. One might infer that there’ll be at least a lingering flavour of Forza Horizon’s gorgeously accessible vehicle handling and open world design, given the collection of Playground Games alumni working on it, but for now it’s just an inference.

The location hasn’t been revealed either yet, but if it isn’t set in Bristol then we don’t like it anymore and we’re not playing it.

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