The developers at Playground Games are about to experience the worst thing about developing a new game in Microsoft's Forza racing franchise. Once you announce it, you have to gradually withstand the pun-heavy headlines that result. Forza Horizon really is a spin-off, though.
Set to launch in Fall 2012, when Forza Motorsport proper takes a break, Forza Horizon aims to adjust the tone of the franchise and inject some new, Turn 10-approved talent into the development pipeline. Microsoft has yet to share much on the game beyond a live-action trailer, which hints at a more playful, festival atmosphere for racing, but was quick to point at the pedigree of Playground Games.
The company was founded during 2009 in England's Leamington Spa, starting with veteran developers from Codemasters (Dirt) and encompassing talent from as far back as Psygnosis. Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenwalt describes the announcement as a new "wing" for the Forza series. You may have seen it leaking over the weekend, at which point it was more of a huge spoiler.