There's excited chatter across the games industry this morning, with two huge news stories breaking.
Following on from the weekend’s surprising news that software behemoth Electronic Arts has made an (as yet unsuccessful) bid to buy GTA-creators Take Two, comes the news that head of Sony Worldwide Studios, Phil Harrison, is to leave Sony Computer Entertainment this week.
Kaz Hirai, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment International, is to take over Harrison's duties. He said this morning 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."
TechRadar has spoken to a number of sources close to PlayStation this morning, but nobody is willing to disclose any further details regarding Harrison’s departure. Sony has clearly done a good job of keeping this one very quiet indeed.
Harrison to join Atari?
Harrison, in the same statement from SCE today, said: "The past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment have 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."
So where is he going? “Phil will not be giving interviews till after he leaves this coming Friday,” a SCEE rep told TechRadar this morning.
Rumour has it, via gamesindustry.biz, that Harrison is to follow ex-EA exec David Gardner and move across to beleaguered Atari.
Atari PR reps told TechRadar this morning: “Right now, we have no information on this so we cannot comment.”
It would make sense for Harrison to move across to Atari, as David Gardner has made noises about reinvigorating the classic gaming brand and moving aggressively into the casual gaming space. An investment in somebody of Harrison’s calibre would really add considerable value to such claims.
TechRadar will keep you updated on this news as soon as we hear more.
Stay tuned for the latest news on the EA/Take Two take-over bid shortly.