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Phil Harrison to Take Over For Molyneux

Microsoft's European arm now headed by former competitor.

Peter Molyneux shocked the gaming world last week when he resigned from his posts at Lionhead and Microsoft’s European gaming arm.  It was only logical that Lionhead Studios' co-founder would take up Molyneux’s position there, but Microsoft went another route entirely.

Earlier today, gamesindustry.biz reported that Phil Harrison has taken the role of head of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe.  Harrison has worn many hats in his prolific time in the industry.  He’s been a board member at Atari and most recently London Venture Partners, an industry investment company, but most prolifically Harrison is the former head of Sony Worldwide Studios.

The earlier announcement has been confirmed via press release from Microsoft, which stated that Harrison will “tap his deep experience in studio leadership to grow Xbox’s development efforts in Europe, including overseeing UK-based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare Ltd.”

"I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry," said Harrison.  "I am really impressed with the company's long-term vision for growing the market for interactive entertainment globally and also with the incredible wealth of talent, technology and resources the company has available to succeed."

We’ll keep you posted on this and other developments as they occur.

Press Release


REDMOND, Wash. - March 13, 2012 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that Phil Harrison, video games luminary and former Sony executive, has joined the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) leadership team as corporate vice president with an emphasis on growing the division's European business.

As the senior IEB leader in Europe, Phil will not only lead the Microsoft Studios European organization directly, but will also influence the broader performance of IEB's European business through strategic partnerships and by bringing culturally relevant entertainment experiences to Microsoft platforms, now and in the future.

In addition to the wealth of experience Harrison has in the console gaming space, he has immersed himself in new business models and technologies, particularly in the mobile and social space and will bring that market perspective to bear in the new role. He will also tap his deep experience in studio leadership to grow Xbox's development efforts in Europe, including overseeing UK-based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare Ltd.

"I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry," said Harrison. "I am really impressed with the company's long-term vision for growing the market for interactive entertainment globally and also with the incredible wealth of talent, technology and resources the company has available to succeed."

"We are honored to have Phil join a team that boasts a wealth of talent from across the industry," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios. "Phil is one of video gaming's true visionaries, and his experience overseeing global studios and deep industry relationships make him the ideal person to lead our European efforts. Under his leadership, we look forward to continuing cultivating the best talent and growing our business in the region."

"Phil has played an instrumental role in shaping modern console history through his keen insights into both hardware and software strategy," said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business. "His addition to our leadership team will impact our global business in innumerable ways, as he aligns our studio development and growing portfolio of entertainment experiences in Europe to drive our continued growth worldwide."

Harrison brings 25 years of games industry and development experience to his new role as the senior leader for IEB Europe. He was a long-time leader at Sony Computer Entertainment, where he held various senior executive positions within the company, most recently as president of Worldwide Studios. After leaving Sony, Harrison joined the board of Infogrames, as president of Atari, where he led the company's transition into online gaming. Most recently, Harrison is co-founder and General Partner of London Venture Partners, LLP the venture capital firm focused


 

Comments

Our Take

Nick DiMola Director

03/13/2012 at 01:17 PM

This is absolutely mindblowing. After playing for the Sony team for so long, it's going to take some getting used to with him at Microsoft.

One piece of advice, Phil, please get Rare doing something worthwhile again. Thanks.

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

03/13/2012 at 02:05 PM

Also, maybe you could use some of your old contacts to get a few more of those Japanese games like Graces f on 360?  Thanks!

Our Take

Esteban Cuevas Staff Alumnus

03/14/2012 at 02:28 AM

Second the Rare thing. Just rented Viva Pinata from Gamefly because that might be the last thing interesting they created.

ShyGuy

03/14/2012 at 10:38 PM

Moleyneux needs to go and make something for the Wii-U to make this rotation complete!

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Press Release

REDMOND, Wash. - March 13, 2012 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that Phil Harrison, video games luminary and former Sony executive, has joined the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) leadership...

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