Home » Amazon Games partner with former Forza Horizon devs

Amazon Games partner with former Forza Horizon devs

maverick games and amazon games new racing entry

Maverick Games is currently creating a “brand-new AAA open-world, narrative-led driving game.” This is how the new title is being described in a recent announcement that Amazon Games will be handling the publishing operations.

Beyond the Horizon

Maverick Games was founded in early 2022, when six Playground Games alumni broke away from the Forza Horizon studio to create their own. The new team is spearheaded by Mike Brown, who was the creative director behind Forza Horizon 5. Maverick set out to create a new “premium open-world game for consoles and PC”, which we now know is indeed another racing game.

Screenshot of Forza Horizon 5.
A screenshot of Forza Horizon 5

“Their [Maverick’s] 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,” said Christoph Hartmann, the VP at Amazon Games in a statement included in the partnership announcement.

Mike Brown himself also shared a few words about his new team and the project, stating, “we founded Maverick Games with a clear vision: to build a developer-first studio that would foster an environment of creativity and risk-taking. This approach empowers our team to produce the most exceptional work of their careers. And ultimately, that means we are creating a game that our players are going to fall in love with.”

Brown’s description does almost seems to be a cheeky response to some of the feedback the racing community dished out towards Forza Horizon 5.

Such feedback included calling the game “too safe and sterile” in terms of its writing, with many of the characters the player interacts with constantly complimenting them and being overly-positive. The game has also been criticised for its tendency to constantly throw rewards at the player in the form of slot-machine like wheelspins which dish out cosmetics, currency and cars.

Particularly on the topic of Horizon 5’s vehicle roster, the game’s copious collection of hundreds of vehicles has been found by some gamers to be too easily accessible.

Unlike more traditional racing games, Forza Horizon has garnered the reputation for giving players the keys to some of its fastest, most powerful cars with almost little effort. All of this ties back into a consensus from some players that, Horizon 5 in particular, struggles with offering a good feeling of progression.

Screenshot of Forza Horizon 5
A screenshot of Forza Horizon 5

Thus, it seems that Brown and the rest of the Maverick Games squad seek to forge their own new path (road) and create what seems like it will be a more fleshed-out narrative.

It remains to be seen if it will be something grittier like the original entry of The Crew, or continue with the over-indulgent, party-like atmosphere that the festival racer sub-genre has become known for with titles like Forza Horizon and The Crew Motorfest.

If anything, many race fans have been clamouring for something that pulls away from the makings of this genre, with offerings more similar to the “grounded” nature of Test Drive Unlimited 1/2 and Burnout Paradise, to name a few. Hopefully, Maverick has been paying attention to all the feedback, and if so, then perhaps its new open-world game will finally be the one to turn the tides of the overall genre.

On that note, Brown signed off on the announcement with these final words: “Without giving too much away, I will share that the team here is buzzing with excitement about our game and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Check out more racing content:

Rocket Racing is chaotic, confusing fun — Scout Summary | Karting Superstars – PC Early Access impressions | Looking back on the legacy of The Crew 2