Playground Games

Playground Games

Company information 

The game’s the thing

The global video games market is vast. Projected figures for 2017 show it is likely to reach close to €86 billion, riding on the back of an increase in worldwide video game users to almost 2.2 billion, or more than a quarter of the global population. At the forefront of the industry in the United Kingdom is Playground Games, behind the now classic Xbox series, Forza Horizon. Its most recent release, Forza Horizon 3, was globally the best-selling racing game of the past five years, selling more than 2.5 million copies in the first three months of its release.

But the company’s work doesn’t end there. “Our goal is to become the most successful independent console development studio in the world, and to do this we believe we need critical and commercial success within a diverse portfolio of games,” says Gavin Raeburn, CEO of Playground Games.

To do this, it has begun transitioning to a two-project company, thereby doubling its employee numbers. This presents a challenge in itself, but one that Playground Games has so far navigated with great success.

“Business intelligence is king. You should understand with a passion what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to and who your competitors are” - Gavin Raeburn, CEO, Playground Games

Gavin champions the need to run consumer and competitor research continually in order to stay ahead of the curve. “Business intelligence is king,” he says. “You should understand with a passion what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to and who your competitors are.”

But it’s the staff that are perhaps the ultimate determinant of a company’s future: “Our biggest challenge has been finding high-quality talent at the rate we need it,” explains Gavin, “with demand often outstripping supply in many areas, especially for our key leadership and director-level roles.”

Playground Games has, however, brought in the finest developers in the game. “You’re only as good as the people you hire,” warns Gavin. “Never compromise on this, no matter what pressure you’re under.”

  • 2.5m - Copies of racing game Forza Horizon 3 sold within three months of its release