Phil Harrison to leave Sony for casual glory with Atari?
By Stevie Smith Feb 25, 2008, 17:49 GMT
Sony bigwig quits Sony Computer Entertainment ahead of joining Atari? Credit: CommonsWikimedia.
Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has today announced that Phil Harrison, bald PlayStation boffin and head of Sony Worldwide Studios, is to leave the company at the end of this week following some 15 years with the company.
While Harrison’s outgoing destination has not yet been revealed, gaming Web site GamesIndustry claims that “sources” have indicated that the Sony bigwig is heading into the arms of third-party publisher Atari.
Related chatter suggests that Harrison will arrive at Atari in the near future in order to join forces with David Gardner, an ex-Electronic Arts executive, to help push Atari’s presence in the casual videogames market -- poignant considering Harrison’s recent criticism of Sony Japan’s apparent unwillingness to evolve casual gaming.
With Harrison expected to leave Sony by the end of the week, Kaz Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment International, will temporarily shoulder the departing exec’s work responsibilities.
“As one of the founding members of SCE, Phil played a key role in the development and growth of the PlayStation business and our industry,” commented Hirai, “It is sad to see him departing from SCE, but I wish to express my gratitude for his many invaluable contributions and also wish Phil the very best of luck in his future endeavors.”
Describing his own time with Sony Computer Entertainment as “the defining journey of my life,” Harrison expressed his pride at having played a core role in the development of the PlayStation brand.
“I am grateful to all the PlayStation family for their incredible support, guidance and friendship. It has been a privilege to serve as part of the team and be inspired by them on a daily basis,” he said. “I am so proud of everything PlayStation has achieved and will continue to support its future in every way I can.”
During his time with the PlayStation and its subsequent hardware sequels, Harrison oversaw innovative software creations such as EyeToy, SingStar and the upcoming PlayStation Home virtual world.