amazon maverick

Amazon Games Is Publishing A New AAA Open-World Driving Game From Former Forza Horizon Devs

Narrative, driven.

Amazon Games has announced today that it’s working with Maverick Games, a studio founded by some of the core developers behind the Forza Horizon series, to develop a new narrative-led, AAA open-world driving game for PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

“We founded Maverick Games with a clear vision: to build a developer-first studio that would foster an environment of creativity and risk-taking,” says Mike Brown, studio head and creative director at Maverick, and former creative director of the Forza Horizon franchise, in an accompanying press release. “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. As we got to know the team at Amazon Games it quickly became clear that we had a shared ethos — a commitment to giving developers the space to really innovate in service of crafting experiences that players will find truly special. 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.”

In an accompanying interview, Brown says that the broad range of services that Amazon offers and the amount of screens it occupies across a variety of mediums is a big point of excitement for the team, as is the company’s long-term vision and commitment to players. Brown also highlights the hiring of Jamie Brittain, co-creator of the BAFTA award-winning British TV show Skins, as the game’s lead writer.

“Lots of great driving games have amazing gameplay, amazing content,” Brown says. “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.”

It’s certainly an idea that still feels fresh in the genre, even against something like the Need for Speed series’ occasional attempts at “story-driven” campaigns, especially when you consider the team’s major focus on characters.

“I really believe in the power of good characters,” Brown continues. “And I think the reason Skins became a cult-like sensation is because of those characters. It is through the power of those characters and the flaws and the interesting quirks they have that makes the show resonate so well with people. And that is Jamie’s superpower: 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 empathize with them, we can fall in love with them.”