Tencent invests in former Forza Horizon lead’s startup

Thomas Harrison-Lord
Lighthouse Games is made up for racing video game industry veterans, and has just received a sizeable windfall.
Tencent invests in former Forza Horizon lead's startup

The amount invested is not disclosed, but according to GamesIndustry.biz, the funds will be used to “invest in new technology and recruitment.”

Lighthouse Games is led by Gavin Raeburn, the co-founder and co-creator of Playground Games and Forza Horizon. He left the now Microsoft-owned studio in early 2022, and will now be responsible for a new ‘AAA IP’ after the public reveal of the new Leamington Spa-based studio in March.

Several former Playground Games members are also working on the project, alongside developers with racing game experience at the likes of Codemasters and Sumo Digital.

Gavin Raeburn, Lighthouse Games 02

“The investment is financial, and we retain control over our game and destiny as a studio, though we are also looking forward to forging strong links with Tencent,” said Raeburn.

“An investment of this scale allows us to grow our team and prove the vision for our game and remain completely independent, whilst still leveraging the skills and experience of one of the world’s largest video game publishers.

“This new beginning also enables us to build our game from the ground up, with no legacy tech or architecture to work around.”

Forza Horizon 2
Several of the Lighthouse Games team previously worked on the Forza Horizon series

China’s Tencent is the world’s biggest video game company based on revenue, $32.94 billion in 2021, and in January 2022 it purchased Sumo Group – a UK studio with a venerated racing game back catalogue.

The genre of Lighthouse’s debut game remains under wraps, although it is currently recruiting for a Vehicle Artist. Meanwhile, the Engine Engineer role requests experience in Unreal Engine, current generation consoles and open-world games.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz, Image: Lighthouse Games

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