March 13, 2012, 14:36

Phil Harrison To Become Head Of Microsoft Games Studios Europe

By David Howard, Editor-in-Chief and Founder

After last weeks shock news that Peter Molyneux had left both Microsoft and Lionhead, the news that Phil Harrison will become the new Microsoft Game Studios European boss is just as unexpected.

Reported by GamesIndustry, Microsoft will confirm the appointment later today, which will see the well known exec head up European Xbox software development.

Phil Harrison is best known for his 16 year stint at Sony PlayStation, where he reached the dizzying height of SCE Worldwide Studios president. He was responsible for setting the global product strategy and managing development operations of thirteen studios in Japan, UK (including Evolution Studios), the Netherlands (Guerilla Games) and the USA.

In February 2008 he resigned from his role to become the director at Infogrames Entertainment, before eventually becoming non-executive director of owned label Atari just over a year later. He then quit Atari in April 2010 to co-found London Venture Partners where he’s been employed for the past two years before today’s appointment.

Update – Microsoft has released a statement announcing the appointment.

Phil Harrison has joined the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) leadership team as corporate vice president with an emphasis on growing the division’s European business.

“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.”