Lighthouse Games Emerges as Forza Horizon Dev Team Separates

Lighthouse Games emerges as Forza Horizon development team separates.jpg
More Senior members of the Playground Games development team have left the Forza Horizon studio to create a new games company, Lighthouse Games. Featuring ex-Forza and F1 game devs, Lighthouse is certainly looking to assert themselves in the racing game market.

Image Credit: Lighthouse Games

Back in January, many senior developers from the team behind Forza Horizon left to create their own studio. Maverick Games is comprised of previous figure head for the Forza Horizon series, Mike Brown as well as many previously top-level employees at Playground Games.

News broke yesterday that this isn't the only group of senior staff members to leave Playground Games in the aim of going solo. Lighthouse Games is a brand-new AAA games company based in Leamington Spa, England with clear goals in the racing game market.

Lighthouse Games soon to be a big player​

With a stacked team, it's clear that Lighthouse Games is looking to contend in the racing game market. However, whether the company will set out to challenge the Forza Horizon series or if it will charter its own path is as yet unclear. Whilst the team mentions its aim to "create a new, genre-defining franchise," we are yet to hear about the new IP.

Lighthouse-Games-logo.jpg


One thing we can be sure about though is that the future is bright for this new company. In fact, the team is currently made up of countless high-level developers from both Playground Games and the team behind the F1 series.

Playground Games co-founder, Gavin Raeburn becomes Head of Studio at the new company. He will manage top names like @David Greco , long-term RaceDepartment member and ex-F1 game Handling Designer and Jen Tse, vehicle artist on title such as Driveclub, Dirt Rally and FH5. They are joined by no less than seven long-time developers on the Horizon franchise, so the team is certainly not lacking talent.

An opportunity for aspiring developers​

Akin to Maverick Games in January, Lighthouse Games has launched its website with many references to its recruitment plan. The site's 'Join Us' page features a long list of job listings from Senior positions to lower ranking openings.

However, this new studio is seemingly on a recruitment war path, asking for speculative applications. If you can stand out from the crowd, this is surely a great way for young, aspiring game designers and engineers to get a foot in the door. Furthermore, working amongst some of the most experienced people in the racing game industry is a certain opportunity to learn.

What are you expecting from Lighthouse Games in the coming years?
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Aiden237
Premium
This interests me. However, it makes me worry about the future of the Forza Horizon franchise. With losing so many who made the franchise what it is, could 5 be the last great one?

However less about the past and more about the future. We need studios making great racing games. As our little hobby is starting to become a cash cow, not too dis-simular to how Ball and stick sports games became cash cows around 10 years ago.

I look forward to more start-ups, hopefully creating the next great racing game like AC and rF1 before them.
 
This interests me. However, it makes me worry about the future of the Forza Horizon franchise. With losing so many who made the franchise what it is, could 5 be the last great one?

Ehh... I kind of think FH5 was a step back from FH4. The Hot Wheels DLC just makes me mad. I still have the FFB bug from launch. It does not remember when you use a custom wheel setup. The voice acting is terrible and there's too much of it. Eliminator and Forza Arcade are take it or leave it. Those silly courses that are like trials or parcourt for cars are just annoying. The seasons are a grind.

Don't get me wrong, I can have an absolute blast driving around. Its the most visceral, adrenaline pumping experience in my rig. The FFB in combination with the HF8 are terrific, switching from H-pattern in old cars to paddles in new cars is seamless, visuals are great and buttery smooth. And I am very excited for the rally DLC b/c of the FFB/HF8 combo mentioned.

Ideally, the Lighthouse team are the gang responsible for the fun parts and the DLC/everything online guys have stayed at PG. I have already resigned myself to not buying the next FH unless I'm on GamePass again. I have more sims than I have time for anyway!
 
Wilko Jones
Premium
Glad to see they made a new studio that will hopefully make worthwhile racing titles. I hope sim racing is what they have in mind, but they went right for the AAA moniker, so fully expecting sim-cade.

To me, the bigger and unwritten topic is that Microsoft is losing more talent. Looks like the talk of Microsoft having studio management problems is true. Halo's team 343, has seemingly been restructured more than Halo Infinite has been updated. Turn 10 on the racing side is constipated with the upcoming Forza Motorsports, and it appears that people are leaving Playground in Exodus like, Biblical proportions. Makes me wonder what the hell is up with Microsoft's studios?

Maybe their next acquisition should be copies of the Managing for Dummies book?
 
Last edited:
My reaction is...

This won't change the Forza series nor will it effect sim racing as a whole...

Could give us another car game, the quality of which no one can be sure of right now...
 
The FH5 Rally add-on is out tomorrow, so was that the last thing they did, or is it new people that did that I wonder. I don't have FH4 or 5 anyway, but still curious...
 
I think it does not matter how good those people who left are. Without Microsoft they will not get enough licences for cars and circuits so I do not think they would ever be able to make any decent racing title.

I also agree with others, the future for Forza Horizon and Forza Motorsport is a worry.
 
E
Premium
Ehh... I kind of think FH5 was a step back from FH4. The Hot Wheels DLC just makes me mad. I still have the FFB bug from launch. It does not remember when you use a custom wheel setup. The voice acting is terrible and there's too much of it. Eliminator and Forza Arcade are take it or leave it. Those silly courses that are like trials or parcourt for cars are just annoying. The seasons are a grind.

Don't get me wrong, I can have an absolute blast driving around. Its the most visceral, adrenaline pumping experience in my rig. The FFB in combination with the HF8 are terrific, switching from H-pattern in old cars to paddles in new cars is seamless, visuals are great and buttery smooth. And I am very excited for the rally DLC b/c of the FFB/HF8 combo mentioned.

Ideally, the Lighthouse team are the gang responsible for the fun parts and the DLC/everything online guys have stayed at PG. I have already resigned myself to not buying the next FH unless I'm on GamePass again. I have more sims than I have time for anyway!

I don't find switching between h-pattern and shifter to be seamless, at least as far as the clutch is concerned. I find I have to go into the menus and change from manual w/clutch to manual, because h-pattern w/o clutch is less fun, and paddles with clutch active does not change gears right away. I always wished forza would remember what I use for any particular car.

Am I missing something?
 
On average, any consumer profits from more competition in the market, plus they will provide new jobs for fresh talent. I find it very difficult to see anything negative about this, let's take a seat and see how this has developed in, say, three to five years.
 
Last edited:
This interests me. However, it makes me worry about the future of the Forza Horizon franchise. With losing so many who made the franchise what it is, could 5 be the last great one?
I don't think that's an issue for a big corporate product. These products are designed by committees and advertising departments. They focus on what's popular and what the marketers think will sell, they can just hire in the workers they need to do the jobs needed.
Corporations got rid of the need for talent through the way they structure their workforce. That's why everything is broken down so much, one guy does one specific thing so that he can be easily replaced by someone else.

I would have thought the racing games market is kind of saturated, especially the top end sim end. At one end you've got big open world games and the other end fairly restricted simulators. The two ends are extremely hard to compete in and the middle ground is generally full of games that are just don't satisfy either market.
 

Article information

Author
Angus Martin
Article read time
2 min read
Views
5,569
Comments
37
Last update

Share this article

Top