Develop and industry professionals respond to key Xbox hire

Harrison joins Microsoft – reaction and analysis

Microsoft today stunned the games industry by announcing that Phil Harrison has been hired as vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business.

Below you can read reaction to the announcement from Develop’s editorial staff as well as the wider industry.


Rob Crossley, Online editor, Develop

A triumphant move. Few senior industry figures know the UK development scene like Harrison does.

Of particular interest to Microsoft will be Harrison’s astute eye for new talent and game concepts. This is the man who brought Singstar to market and gave an unproven start-up called Media Molecule his full support.

Will Freeman, Editor, Develop
I’m a touch surprised Harrison has assumed such a ‘traditional’ role considering his activities post-Sony. It didn’t seem unreasonable to expect to see his name become aligned with a giant of social gaming, or one day find myself writing a story about his surprise appointment at a plucky underdog gamification studio or media agency in East London’s hipster-centric creative hub.

Regardless, despite the odd fallow year for Harrison in the wake of his move away from Sony, I’ve faith he can do hugely constructive things back at the helm of a creative studio with a deep interest in the console space.

Craig Chapple, Staff Writer, Develop
It’s a brilliant headline move for Microsoft, certainly, but I was under the impression that Harrison’s heart was no longer in consoles. His record for spearheading studio divisions speaks for itself, but in recent years he has been talking up the future of social games, mobile platforms and how browsers will shape the games industry. It’s not a philosophy that lends well to Microsoft’s, but I’m sure he will adapt again.

Michael French, Editor-in-Chief, Develop
A Microsoft masterstroke


Miles Jacobson, Studio Director, Sports Interactive
This is one of the biggest things to happen in the UK games industry for years. I wish Phil success!

Sarah Wellock, Community Manager, Rocksteady Studios
Really exciting move, it’s great to see two such industry veterans move on to awesome new projects!

Dr. CM Wong, Founder, Opus Artz
Harrison will potentially expand on interactive entertainment and provide a experienced hand on which MS avenues to pursue

Leo Brennan, iOS developer
If Harrison is looking to create a new IP franchise then good move, if he develops Fable further then not a good move.

Nicolas Godement, Company President, Majaka
Since Molyneux left MGS Europe needed another witty, bald English developer. Makes sense.

Andy Payne, Chairman, UKIE
Good move for Microsoft to hire Phil Harrison. Has games running through his DNA

[Image: Jon Jordan]

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