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Amazon Games to publish new open-world driving title from Forza Horizon devs

Maverick Games, a studio established by former Playground Games devs in 2022, has found a publishing partner in Amazon.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 29, 2024

2 Min Read
The Amazon Games and Maverick logos
Image via Amazon

Amazon has agreed to publish a new triple-A open-world driving title from the team behind the Forza Horizon series. The retailer-turned-game-company has signed a deal with Maverick Games to help bring the title to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X | S.

Maverick was established in 2022 by a group of core Forza Horizon developers, including former Playground Games studio head and creative director Mike Brown.

When breaking cover last year, the Maverick team described their debut project as an "ultra-high quality title" that would enable players to "take risks" and "be curious." Providing more flavor in a post on the Amazon Games website, Brown claims the studio is working on a driving game with humanity.

"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," he said.

"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."

The studio has hired BAFTA-winning scribe and Skins co-creator Jamie Brittain to serve as the project's lead writer to help realize that vision.

Amazon teams with Maverick to expand publishing portfolio

Commenting on the partnership with Amazon, Brown claimed the two companies share an ethos when it comes to fostering a developer-first culture and championing risk-taking. Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann, meanwhile, described Maverick as the "total package."

"In our ongoing global search for talented development teams who are building compelling titles that players will love, Maverick Games stood out as a studio that can deliver on all fronts," added Hartmann.

"Mike and his team are the total package—proven game developers who are masters at their craft and aren't content with the status quo. Their vision for this game is fresh and innovative, and we're looking forward to working alongside them to bring it to players around the world."

Amazon appears committed to breaking into the video game industry, but the journey so far hasn't always been smooth sailing. In 2023, the company reportedly laid off around 280 people across its video game divisions to support a "focus on content" and reorganize its Prime Gaming team.

Last week, however, the company opened a new studio in Bucharest to support its development and publishing ambitions. Amazon Games' current portfolio includes live service titles New World and Lost Ark. It's also working on an MMO based on The Lord of the Rings and the next entry in the Tomb Raider franchise.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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