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Microsoft Game Studios Europe Gets Support From Phil Harrison, Former Sony Exec

Former Sony Atari Guy Joins Microsoft Game Studio
Former Sony exec jumps ship and is now working for Microsoft as head of Microsoft’s Game Studious Europe

Former Sony and Atari man, Phil Harrison, joins Microsoft as head of European game studio

Though it wasn’t confirmed initially, Gamesindustry reported that Microsoft are about to make a new hire: Phil Harrison, formerly of Sony and Atari.

Shortly after the rumour went live, Microsoft made the announcement. The company confirmed that Harrison will be joining Microsoft as vice president at the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), with his role centered around growing the European business (as the original rumour pointed towards). He will also be tasked with leading the Microsoft European studio’s organization and will “influence the broader performance of IEB’s European business” by bringing, what Microsoft call, “culturally relevant” entertainment experiences to the Microsoft platform.

Following on from Peter Molyneux once more, he will oversee Lionhead Studios and Rare while continuing as a Special Advisor at London Venture Partners. Harrison said he was excited to be joining Microsoft, and was impressed by the company’s “long term vision” for growing the market of interactive entertainment.

Microsoft went on to add that they were excited to have Harrison join the team, describing him as one of the true “visionaries” in the video game industry, and were looking forward to him growing their business in Europe.

The role was formerly held by Peter Molyneux, who announced he was leaving the company and Lionhead Studios least week. He was joining a new studio, 22 Cans.

However, Microsoft said that despite Harrison overseeing Lionhead Studio this is not a reaction to Peter Molyneux’s departure from the company – the hiring is “completely unrelated to Peter [Molyneux’s] departure.” They also confirmed that Molyneux’s role at Lionhead will be filled by COO of the company, Mark Webley.

Gameindustry go on to say that Harrison is expected to “take direct overall responsibility” for all UK Microsoft studios, along with Europe.

Harrison has previously been a board member of Atari, part of the group recruited to help revitalise the company. He is also the co-founder of London Venture Partners, which specialises in games industry investment.

Along with this, he was most recently at Sony. He was known for his energetic and upbeat performances on stage, so he might be at E3 2012.

He will serve under Don Mattrick, president of Interactive Entertainment Business.

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Published: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 Last Modified: March 14, 2012

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