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Head of Sony's Software Game division resigns


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  • Head of Sony's Software Game division resigns

    The struggles of Sony's management continues... the head of the game development arm quits or forced out?

    To add insult to injury.. the graphic on the news article shows a girl holding a new Nintendo DS..

    With some units finally moving in volume.. Sony really needs to get their internals sorted out or this momentum could fade...
    Sony head of game software development to resign

    Mon Feb 25, 6:36 AM ET

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp (6758.T) said on Monday Phil Harrison, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, the game software development arm of Sony's videogame division, will resign on February 29.

    Kazuo Hirai, Chief Executive of Sony's game operations, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), will assume the responsibilities in addition to his current role.

    Harrison is leaving the firm after 15 years to tackle new challenges in the video game industry, but nothing concrete has been set, an SCE spokesman said.

    Creating strong game software is important for Sony, which has seen its PlayStation 3 game console lag far behind Nintendo Co Ltd's (7974.OS) Wii in sales due to high prices and scarcity of must-have game titles.

  • #2
    Re: Head of Sony's Software Game division resigns

    This was from last week at GDC.

    Sony's Phil Harrison, head of worldwide studios for Sony, has expressed his frustration that the company's Japanese division was too slow at accepting the ideas of social gaming – a market now dominated by rival manufacturer Nintendo and its Wii console. Sony Europe already had three products on the market designed specifically to encourage social gaming in the living room before the Wii was even released – the EyeToy, SingStar and Buzz – but Japanese execs didn't believe in the concept of families enjoying gaming together.
    "It's a very interesting and frustrating thing for me to experience because I have been banging the drum about social gaming for a long time, with SingStar, EyeToy and Buzz," he said during a private lunch taking place during GDC week.
    "And our Japanese colleagues said that there is no such thing as social gaming in Japan – people do not play games on the same sofa together in each other's homes. It will never happen. And then out comes the Wii."
    Harrison said that he thinks Wii Sports is a title that encapsulates the idea of a true 'next-generation' game, and he admires Nintendo's success in marketing and sales.
    "What's interesting with Nintendo adverts – and they are the same the world over – they always show the view from the television back to the sofa, which is very clever. And what do you see? A family or friends all on a sofa," he said.

    and rumors of wear he is going

    Sources have indicated to that the head of Sony Worldwide Studios, Phil Harrison, who will leave the company at the end of this week, is to join Atari in the near future.
    Harrison, who recently expressed his frustration at Sony Japan's lack of foresight on the casual games front - ceding ground to Nintendo in the process - will apparently join up with ex-EA executive David Gardner and spearhead Atari's push into the casual space.
    While at Sony, Harrison - one of the most respected people in the games industry worldwide - has overseen a large number of high-profile successes, including titles such as EyeToy, SingStar and the forthcoming PlayStation Home project.
    That talent for spotting and evolving more mainstream products on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 platforms would be most welcome to a company that previously indicated that it would re-focus its business on the online and casual games spaces.
    And following the departure of former CEO Patrick Leleu recently, his replacement, David Gardner, who arrived in January, has stated his ambition of seeing the Atari brand back in favour following a lengthy troubled spell for the iconic publisher.
    "My goal is to help rebuild that passion around the company," said Gardner. "First, with the employees and then very quickly to spread it virally on the internet to millions of new customers. I have a personal challenge to create a world-class company that is European in flavour but reaches global markets.
    "This will take some time of course, but here we have fantastic gaming DNA formed at the birth of the industry, access to creative talent and a company with the working capital to make the necessary investments to realise this vision," he added.
    If Harrison does make the move to Atari it would be a massive shot in the arm for the publisher, and a sure sign to investors that the board is very serious indeed about the prospects for recovery.
    Kaz Hirai, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment International will assume Harrison's duties, and said in a statement: "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."
    "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."
    Harrison, who has not yet confirmed his possible move to Atari, added: "The past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment has been the defining journey of my life so far.
    "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.
    "I am so proud of everything PlayStation has achieved and will continue to support its future in every way I can."
    UPDATE: There was some confusion previously over Atari Inc and the Infogrames companies, which are not the same entity. David Pearce was the former CEO of Atari Inc, while David Gardner replaced Patrick Leleu at Infogrames. It is Infogrames that is the possible destination for Mr Harrison, not Atari Inc. would like to apologise for any confusion arising from this.
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    • #3
      Re: Head of Sony's Software Game division resigns

      Phil Harrison basically decided what Sony produced/published games got green-light. Home and LittleBigPlanet are two things he really pushed for. In recent interviews he had been complaining that the Sony overlords in Tokyo didn't "get" social gaming like Home, since for one way or another they feel outgoing social meetups like that don't work in Japanese culture. In recent months Phil sounded like he was getting more and more frustrated with the suits in Japan.

      However, all the stuff shown at GDC looked pretty cool and people think Sony is going to have a pretty good year, so it depends a lot on the context. If Phil had left a year ago while the PS3 had a $600 price tag and almost nothing to play, this would have looked a lot worse than it does now.


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