Microsoft announced the departure of Gavin Raeburn, Playground Games’ co-founder and industry veteran. Raeburn, an integral part of the Forza Horizon series, has a long list of industry credits. After decades working at Codemasters for many years, he co-founded Playground in 2009 with Trevor Williams. Since then, the studio has produced five Forza Horizon games and the forthcoming Fable reboot.

Raeburn started his career on the ground floor by programming titles such as Lazer Force and Poltergeist for Codemasters. Later, he held more senior positions and led important projects such as Grid and the rebooting of Dirt. His influence was evident in the Horizon series. Codemasters grew into a specialist racing studio over time, which is no surprise. Outrun will forever be my favourite title about driving, but Horizon, among the modern titles, captures the same spirit of speed, fun and the joy of drifting around bends at 120mph while watching the sunrise.

Raeburn was Playground Studios Director. He will be replaced by Trevor Williams, general manager and co-founder. The following statement was made by Alan Hartman, Microsoft’s CVP for Forza and Fable to Windows Central.

Gavin Raeburn, who has spent 12 years developing five award-winning Forza Horizon titles, is leaving Playground Games to become Studio Director. Gav Raeburn was a founding member of Playground Games. We thank him for his leadership and contributions to the Forza franchise. We wish him all the very best. Trevor Williams, the co-founder of Playground Games, will be transitioning from General Manager to Studio Head immediately as the Playground Games team concentrates on Forza Horizon 5 updates and Fable development.

It was not clear if Raeburn would like to move on to another job or retire on the beach. Or, perhaps, in an open-top Ferrari under blue skies.

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