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Former Sony dev boss to spearhead Xbox Europe Studios division

Microsoft swoop for Phil Harrison

Former PlayStation development boss Phil Harrison is to head up the Microsoft Studios European organisation, as part of a wider appointment as corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business.

“Several sources” have confirmed the appointment to trade website GamesIndustry International.

Microsoft initially declined to comment though has now confirmed the switch.

Harrison spearheaded PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios division since its formal conception in 2005, up until 2008 when he left Sony to head up the ill-fated Atari publishing revival.

Since 2010 he has been working in the background at VC firm London Venture Partners.

Harrison will now have command over Lionhead, Rare and Microsoft’s London studio. He will be at the centre of any third-party developer relations deals with studios across Europe.

Last week Peter Molyneux announced he was stepping down from his role as Microsoft Game Studios Europe boss.

Microsoft said Harrison’s appointment is "completely unrelated to Peter Molyneux’s departure".

"Harrison will lead Microsoft Studios European organization, but will also influence the broader performance of IEB’s European business," the company said.

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