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Playground Games co-founder Gavin Raeburn departs

Fellow co-founder Trevor Williams steps up as new head of Forza Horizon studio

There has been a change of leadership as one of Microsoft's flagship developers, Playground Games.

Gavin Raeburn, co-founder and studio director of the UK company behind the best-selling Forza Horizon series, is leaving the company after 12 years. It is currently unclear where he is heading next.

In his place, general manager and fellow co-founder Trevor Williams is stepping up as studio head and will lead the team going forward.

The news was confirmed by Microsoft to Windows Central, with a spokesperson adding: "A founding member of Playground Games, we thank Gav for his leadership and contributions to the Forza franchise and wish him all the best."

Raeburn, Williams and creative director Ralph Fulton co-founded Playground Games in 2009 after leaving Codemasters. Together they grew and team and oversaw development of the original Forza Horizon, an open-world spin-off of Microsoft's flagship simulation racing series.

Since then, the series has gone from strength to strength, and since Forza Horizon 3 the games have rivalled if not surpassed the main Forza Motorsport titles.

Last year's Forza Horizon 5 reached 10 million players within the first week, setting new records for both Xbox Game Pass launches and Xbox debuts in general.

Playground Games is currently focused on updates for last year's Forza Horizon 5 and development on the upcoming Fable revival.