Former Sony executive joining Microsoft - Report

[UPDATE] Microsoft confirms that Phil Harrison has been named head of Microsoft Studios Europe in a move "completely unrelated to [Peter Molyneux's] departure."

Microsoft will hire longtime Sony executive Phil Harrison to head up the studio's European operations, according to sources speaking to GamesIndustry.biz.

Harrison is now a Microsoft man.

The unnamed tipsters say Harrison--formerly of Sony, Atari, and London Venture Partners--will join the Xbox 360 maker as head of Microsoft Game Studios Europe. An announcement through official channels is expected later today.

[UPDATE] Microsoft made Harrison's hiring official this morning. Harrison has joined the Interactive Entertainment Business team at Microsoft as corporate vice president. As part of leading Microsoft Studios Europe, he will oversee UK-based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions, and Rare Ltd.

"Phil's role on the IEB leadership team is completely unrelated to Peter's departure," a Microsoft representative added. "Phil will lead Microsoft Studios' European organization, but will also influence the broader performance of IEB's European business. We will continue to rely on our stable of first-party developers as we determine if and when the Microsoft Studios Europe Creative Director vacancy should be filled. Peter's previous role as Lionhead Studio Manager is being filled by Lionhead COO Mark Webley."

Harrison spent 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment, where he most notably held the position of president of worldwide studios.

Harrison has been employed as a general partner at London Venture Partners for the past two years. Prior to that, he served as president and board member at game publisher Atari.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

100 comments
zaiwen
zaiwen

its more like MS paid shtload o cash so that harrison can spit out classified info from sony

ZICO11
ZICO11

microsoft is loosing

servb0ts
servb0ts

Good luck making a game that blocks used games. :P

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

Not so shocking. For the record, Peter Moore previously worked for SEGA. Just something some of you braindead fanboys should know.

digi-demon
digi-demon

@supertom221 Sony sold PS3 on 1080p - MS always said 720p was sufficient for games - but no, Sony got all bull5h1tt7 about 1080p being the future & all that. Sorry to offend you my friend but you are indeed a complete fool if you think PS3 could output most of its software above 720p. The X360 upscales its games (most like PS3 coded @ 720p) up to a clear 1080p output via. its hardware - thus giving a superior video output to PS3 - this is because its hard upscaling its realtime video images out - which is something the PS3 seems totally incapable of - so seems like you lose.... move on get over it :P.

Vodoo
Vodoo

@awheaten... Sony has been winning the console war since Harrison left? Sounds like someone spiked your Cheerios friend. Gamespot just posted an article recently that Microsoft has sold the most consoles every month, for the last YEAR straight. You don't have any idea of Harrisons' impact on Sony, so don't go talking sh!t about him just because he went to Microsoft. Actually, Harrison is the one that got the PS3 to sell better after the hole that Ken Kutaragi dug for them. He was the first non-japanese to be named president of Sony Worldwide Studios, quite the accomplishment for an old school japanese company.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@awheaten I beg your pardon? PS1 won the console war, PS2 OWNED the console war with 120 million sales to about 25 on xbox and 20 mil on gamecube but PS3 is lagging in 3rd place and is not winning any console war. That is while the system is over 6 years on from launch too so if it's not caught up now the only time it'll actually manage second place is if MS stops supporting the 360 when it releases it's next console. drifting in 3rd place (and that gap not closing) being compared to winning the console war is simply disillusion and I'd like to know how the hell you came up with that notion that losing him has seemed to help (not that I believe he was much use as kaz always did seem more important to the company).

Anxiety21
Anxiety21

We can all talk about fan boys but what I want to talk about is when is gamespot going to finally change their name to xspot??!! More like fan sites these days. LOL I'm with Dreamfist11 !! rock on man!

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

I bet it was all this guy's idea to release the next gen Xbox console without a disk drive.....and yes I'm being funny...since we all know this guy came to MS after that report :P

awheaten
awheaten

Yeah, I'm not sure what Harrison exactly did for Sony. But I do know that since ken kutaragi and Harrison left, Sony has been winning the console war. I don't think Kaz is the greatest exec' with the greatest power, but I think, overall, he gets it. He understands that you have a unique experience in the gaming market. Sony has a firm grasp on that thanks to Kaz.

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

this is when you know Microsoft is going down hill... I'm so glad Kaz is back and in charge of Sony and Playstation again...

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@CaptainHerlock Haha.. You're so right... I swear this site has shares with Microsoft or something :P

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Well hopefully Phil will do better for Microsoft than he did for Sony.. I'm a Playstation guy but the advertisement methods for their consoles in the UK suck absolute ass. The advert for the move was atrocious and the one for vita is pathetic. All CGI and actors and no actual gameplay. :? Good luck Microsoft I say! They'll probably need it..

XxKing_BlazexX
XxKing_BlazexX

Ah the same old same old xbox3fixme fanboy vs. the ps3 fanboy war.

Cronicx-
Cronicx-

Anyone who says Xbox is just greedy and tries to rip you off and take your money, that's not true. You pay for what you get. Their online and gold member services are amazing. Sony on the other hand, you also get what you pay for. You pay nothing, and in return, you get nothing.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Well he looks creepy enough....looks like he might be "greedy" enough...hmm yup he belongs at microsoft lol Though nothing will beat Activisions CEO's devil eyes and incredibly scary smile.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

peter's out, harrison's in..hmmm, plot thickens

PHOENIXZERO
PHOENIXZERO

He hasn't worked for Sony in four years.... Not like he was working for them yesterday and suddenly jumped ship. Fanboy stupidity knows no bounds....

supertom221
supertom221

I don't see what the big deal is. It's the business world, people always switch jobs. He also worked at Atari.So he quit SONY and Microsoft appealed to him. SO WHAT? This was never about the brand. Just a little career change. Keep your fanboyism to yourself, dumba**es, this is none of your concern. In fact, why are you even reporting this GS? Are you trying to create a flame war?

supertom221
supertom221

@digi-demon What are you, an idiot? PS3 is working on 1080p by default. It's jut that the games themselves are native 720p. The same goes for XBOX. Get real, you fanboy.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Mr PlayStation Europe joining MS - ha ha - go figure. Good call though - hope that he is able to convince MS that they need some more exclusive titles - obviously sick of the FailStation - why are 99% of my PS3 games 720p only?.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

I Guess this is good news and this was also fast at finding someone new after Peter left last week.

bluebird08
bluebird08

he left epic sony to join a greedy douche bag company

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

LOL @fanboys getting all exited. This stuff happens all the time in the business world. It's all about money, not brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is almost unheard of. I swear fanboys get so exited as if they worked for their favorite company when this doesn't benefit you in any way. Your hearts are probably pumping at a million miles per hour right now. Fanboys....gotta love em.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

People get jobs all the time. GameSpot only reported this because they think it makes Sony look bad, and we all know how GameSpot loves to do that.

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

I told you Microsoft is money hatting everybody, they did that way back before the Xbox 1 launched, they money hatted game devs who made first party PS2 games to go Microsoft, its because Microsoft has the deepest pockets in the universe.

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

looks like people are jumping ship from sony already..

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

Wait a second... who the hell is Soho Productions? MS has a third developer in EU? WTF? Oh yeah, and we got that guy from Sony. Whatever. Soho? Have they even developed anything?

xcollector
xcollector

Nobody in America has loyalty to any company. Thus, this isn't shocking news. It would be shocking if it was Kaz Hirai.

KillerBill316
KillerBill316

So why is this news? It's not unheard of that a person gets a job. Do you guys just post any worthless story that has the words "Sony" and "Microsoft" in it? Grow up.

edpeterson
edpeterson

Fanboy comments are so funny, sometimes you have to wonder how stupid some people can be.

4quarters
4quarters

Good let him screw up Microsoft too...

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

LOL it would be a trip if Peter Molyneux went to work for Sony.... I know it won't happen but it would be kinda weird if it did....

The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

Traitor!!! This story actually amuses me quite a lot

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@maximumbarmage Nah, that's just childish logic. We've already Seen Blu-ray was barely needed this gen as discs sufficed for the most part and very few games actually filled a blu-ray and we have seen literally no 2 blu-ray games. When you see a 2 blu-ray game THEN it will take more DVD's than would be realistic to keep swapping but at the moment it's silly to claim swapping a disc is outdated. They only become outdated when they are no longer fit for purpose so when you have tons of discs. Don't you find it hilarious to have TV series like Lost and Game of Thrones spread over several Blu-ray despite 1 probably fitting it? They also have multiple DVD's too but in the end it's just the way some stuff are done, the practice of multiple discs is seen as luxurious (like on TV series and movies) and I know it is wasteful but overall it can hardly be called an embarrassment when it's still in practice elsewhere. Just think before posting.

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

@dreamfist11 I salute thee... All bs aside my friend here speaks the truth!

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

lol, That picture says it all "Don't leave your children alone around me ;-) "

maximumbarmage
maximumbarmage

"Remember back in the day when it was Sony Swapping 17 discs on Final Fantasy whatever or Metal Gear: This should only be one disc Solid " I remember that... from 15 years ago. Any console still needing disc swapping in 2012 looks like an outdated embarassment, pure and simple.

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

Good for him... I guess... Maybe MS can learn a thing or two from him... "this is how Sony does it foo!" lol!

maximumbarmage
maximumbarmage

It'll be interesting to see how the Xbot blowhards react to this considering how often I was having to read vile personal insults directed at Harrison from that particular group around the time of the PS3 launch. Oh wait... reading any kind of comment from Microsoft fanboys would not be interesting AT ALL.

Zophar87
Zophar87

Lol! Oh wait, what I really meant to say was; LOL!

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@W1LL14M It's fanboys around the world. Microsoft fanboys are no more intelligent. Any fool that backs a corporation or it's job hoppers is way out of touch.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Ansem_Rev umm both mgs1 and the only ff games that require you to swap disc was on the ps1 which use cds I have 0 games on both the ps2 and ps3 that require to swap discs sp anther words Sony got rid of swapping discs back on the ps2 while you are still swapping discs and because of that devs have to scale down games so that it would fit onto 1 disc on the 360 and the ps3 has to suffer because of it and about bad ports has nothing to do with the ps3 they are from lazy devs

lolnation
lolnation

hahahaha you're moving to a crap company