Google has scooped up one of the game industry’s most venerable executives. Phil Harrison, known for his lengthy tenures with Xbox and especially PlayStation, will be joining the internet giant as vice president and general manager.
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The announcement came quietly earlier today via Harrison’s Twitter account. He’ll be relocating to California as part of his position.
Excited to be able to share that today I've started a new role as Vice President and GM of Google - and relocating (back) to California.
— Phil Harrison (@MrPhilHarrison) January 22, 2018
Phil Harrison is one of the most experienced executives in the game industry, becoming head of development for Mindscape in the late 80s. He joined Sony in 1992, eventually becoming president of SCE Worldwide Studios. After more than 15 years with Sony, he left to on roles at Infogrames (during which time they rebranded to Atari) and cloud gaming service Gaikai, before joining Microsoft in 2012. We hadn’t heard much from Harrison since he left the senior position at Xbox in 2015, until today’s announcement.
Harrison’s high level of experience in the industry suggests that his role with Google would be gaming related, but there are no concrete details on what that might mean. The company’s Android platform serves as host to tons of games on mobile, and has been used as the backbone of dedicated gaming platforms in the past - though maybe the Ouya isn’t the most auspicious thing to reference here.
Google’s also been investing in VR and AR platforms in recent years, and there are gaming applications aplenty for both forms of technology. We’ll be waiting to hear more - and probably waiting a good long time, at that.