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Microsoft Buys ‘Forza’ Developer Playground Games

Playground Games, the indie British game developer best known for its work on the Forza games, was acquired by Microsoft, the company announced on Sunday during its E3 press conference.

Established in 2010 by a group of developers from a wide cross-section of studios, including Ubisoft Reflections, Criterion Games, and Codemasters, Playground Games’ first title was “Forza Horizon” for the Xbox 360. The studio went on to create “Forza Horizon 2,” “Forza Horizon 3,” and is working on “Forza Horizon 4,” which was also announced during Sunday’s E3 press conference.

In 2017, Playground Games said it was creating a new studio to focus on non-racing open-world video games. It later said the game would be an open-world action RPG. Since then, the company has been on a hiring spree as it works toward staffing up to 400 people across both studios.

“Forza Horizon” is a spinoff of the “Forza Motorsport” series originally created by Turn 10 Studios. With Horizon, the game became an open-world racing title that revolved around the fictional Horizon street racing festival in Colorado. The game launched with a number of race types, including drift, rally, and more standard, point-to-point races. The game also featured rare cars rewarded to players for their participation in community events.

Follow all of Variety’s E3 2018 coverage, which includes breaking news, original interviews, and hands-on impressions, right here.

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