Tag Archives: Phil Harrison
Mon, Dec 08, 2008 | 10:46 GMT
Atari boss – nee Sony Worldwide Studios head – Phil Harrison’s told Eurogamer that PSP’s still the place the be.
“There is no doubt that PSP is a very vibrant platform from a hardware perspective and I think Sony has recently made some good moves into opening up online distribution for software on PSP, so I’m looking to explore that,” he said.
“We have published on PSP and I’m sure we will continue to publish on PSP; we didn’t have any announcements to make today,” he added.
Atari’s published a decent amount for PSP, although there’s been nothing of note in recent months.
Big Atari releases for the platform include Mercury, Hot Pixel and Dragon Ball Z titles.
Fri, Dec 05, 2008 | 13:37 GMT
Speaking to Eurogamer at Atari Live in London this week, company boss former Sony studios head Phil Harrison said he thought his former firm had succeeded in its aims with Home.
The development team had “brilliantly realised their ambitions,” he said, and predicted that Sony “will have a very successful platform”.
Harrison also tipped his hat to NXE.
“I was quite impressed actually with some of the things that [Microsoft has] done,” he said.
“[Microsoft are] just scratching the surface of what the whole industry recognises is that customisation, socialisation and community platforms are going to be just as important as the games themselves.”
Thu, Dec 04, 2008 | 17:58 GMT
We weren’t there – Mrs Pat’s the most pregnant woman in the world – but now we can all see Phil Harrison and David Gardner deliver the Atari Live keynote from London this week right here.
There’s a video of the entire thing, kicking off with a showreel of upcoming product and Gardner telling the crowd he and Phil have come back to the business for the love of the Atari brand. Brings a tear to the eye.
Watch it. These guys are two of the best in the trade. There’s the announcement of the new Mizuguchi products, the announcement of picking up Ready 2 Rumble and Demigod, the Ghostbusters date and all the rest of it.
Thu, Dec 04, 2008 | 10:39 GMT
Speaking to Edge at Atari Live in London this week, company boss Phil Harrison has predicted that the upcoming generation will never use a disc. For anything.
“There’s a generation of kids being born today and probably already alive who I’m pretty confident will never buy a physical media product,” he said.
“They will never buy a DVD, they will never buy a CD, and they will never buy a game in a box.”
Harrison’s boss, David Gardner, has already said that 90 percent of Atari’s products will be online “within five years”.
Wed, Dec 03, 2008 | 19:31 GMT
Talking at yesterday’s Atari Live event in London, Atari CEO David Gardner explained that secondhand sales have been damaging for the gaming industry.
“Secondhand game sales represent consumer choice and desire,” he said. “Obviously, it has economically been extremely painful for the industry… the publishers don’t benefit.
“But as games change and they become more and more network centric, the disc in the box becomes only one part of the experience. As that experience grows then it becomes not such a problem,” he added.
President Phil Harrison reckons that more online content will be an effective combatant of the secondhand trade: “”There’s no doubt that second hand games sales has a macro-economic impact on the industry and a lot of people get miserable about it,” he said.
“But it’s no coincidence that the most valuable games, the one’s that have the most lifetime as a game experience, are the one’s that don’t get resold, that don’t get traded.
“The games that have the embedded community, the embedded commerce, the extended, expandable experiences, are the one’s that you would never want to trade, the one’s you want to keep hold of. And that’s perfectly in line with our future strategy so we’re not that concerned about it,” he added.
By Mike Bowden
Tue, Dec 02, 2008 | 18:15 GMT
Just in case there was any doubt about CD Projekt’s The Witcher coming to consoles, Atari press released the 360 and PS3 versions this afternoon.
Both are out next autumn.
“The creative vision and dedication to the quality of the player experience that CD Projekt RED bring to the Witcher games is extraordinary, and it’s great to be working with them to bring the Witcher universe to console gamers,” said Phil Harrison.
“Taking this brilliantly realised world to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers for the first time is a breakthrough in the development of this important franchise.”
Full thing after the break.
Thu, Oct 23, 2008 | 14:24 BST
Whilst talking about Unity middleware platfrom in Copenhagen, Atari exec Phil Harrison has said that the reason many games fail is due to going from “concept to production in one jump.”
“Here is my EUR 10 million gift to this room — all of the mistakes I have made in software development have been based around one problem and one problem alone, which is accelerating through this pipeline without successfully and properly satisfying the requirements of each of the stages – and typically it involves going from concept to production in one jump,” said Harrison.
“That’s pretty much the definition of why projects fail — because you don’t know what you’re building, you don’t know how you’re going to build it, you don’t know who you’re building it for, but you’ve got 60 people working on it and they’ve all running in different directions — that’s how most games fail.”
Wed, Oct 22, 2008 | 09:32 BST
Atari president Phil Harrison has told GI that Sony took “absolutely the decision” in recalling LittleBigPlanet after the company withdrew the game from retail due to complaints about a song that contained two sentences from the Qur’an featured on the disc.
“I wasn’t privy to all of the discussions and debate that went on within Sony, but I know they would have thought very deeply about it, and at the highest level of the company,” he explained.
“And on reflection I think it was absolutely the right thing to do, because LittleBigPlanet set out from day one to be a game for the entire world – and if there was anything that accidentally detracted from that vision and made the game not fun for the entire world, then the game would have fundamentally failed in its mission.
“So I think Sony took absolutely the right decision – painful though it was, and frustrating though it might be for gamers who were looking forward to it,” he went on.
“It only seems to have heightened the anticipation, so I think it’ll end up being a win, and full credit to Media Molecule for turning around a fix as quickly as they did.”
More through the link.
By Mike Bowden
Mon, Sep 08, 2008 | 11:06 BST
SCEE’s just issued a statement on the departure of SingStar head Paulina Bozek to Atari – announced this morning – saying she’ll be missed.
“We are obviously very sorry to learn that Paulina will be leaving us,” said a rep.
“She has been a huge part of our family at WWS and London Studio and we wish her all the best with her new challenge.”
The developer has lead the SingStar franchise for years, joining SCEE from Ubi Montreal in 2003.
Bozek will be assuming a role as development director of a new London-based online games studio for Atari.
Mon, Sep 08, 2008 | 11:07 BST
Update: SCEE just put out a statement on this, saying Bozek will be missed.
Iconic SingStar boss Paulina Bozek has quit Sony to take a job with Phil Harrison’s Infogrames.
Bozek is now development director of a new online game studio at the firm.
“I am very excited to be joining Atari at this pivotal time for both the company and the industry,” said Bozek.
“There is a huge opportunity as gaming platforms become more ubiquitous, more connected and attract more mainstream audiences. Atari has a great vision for the future and I can’t wait to start realising that vision in new products and services.”
Harrison, obviously, is quite pleased.
“This is a significant step in expanding Atari’s online game development capability,” he said.
“Paulina is one of the industry’s most respected creative leaders with an outstanding track-record of commercial and creative success and I’m delighted that she will bring her unique vision, consumer insight and proven ability for creating amazing entertainment experiences to Atari.”
Press release after he break.
Mon, Aug 18, 2008 | 21:06 BST
Antoine Villette, founder of I Am Alive developer Darkworks, has told VG247 he believes Alone in the Dark can still be great, but only if Atari is prepared to make radical changes to its format.
“When we took Alone in the Dark in 2001 it was to renew the franchise with names, characters, we tried to put it in a modern base and modernise it a little bit,” said Villette, talking of the Darkworks-developed Alone in the Dark: A New Nightmare.
“Now I think that with this franchise, if Atari wants to do something [further], it has to be a major step towards other things: perhaps other platforms, other game systems, other gameplay.
“Alone in the Dark has this chance to have this fantastic title: they have to work with that. Perhaps to be a little purer about it and move away from what has become the classical survival horror game with Resident Evil, Biohazard, and let it be Alone in the Dark.
“When you forget that there’s been four or five instalments in the franchise, you can do something fantastic with it.”
The last Alone in the Dark game from Eden Studios – still to release on PS3 – wasn’t well received critically, and Atari boss Phil Harrison has already said he doubts another game of its ilk will be greenlit by the firm.
Tue, Aug 05, 2008 | 13:59 BST
Our ears are so close to the ground they’re all mossy. Highly placed sources told VG247 today that the real reason for Phil Harrison’s departure from Sony was that work is now starting on PS4 and deja vu was setting in.
“He could see he was about to get involved in another PlayStation cycle, and obviously wanted something new,” we were told. “The same thing was happening again and he’d been through it enough times to want to move on.”
The timing of Harrison’s decision to leave Sony confused many, given that PS3 was finally starting to bloom after a troubled seedling period. The PlayStation front-man announced he was to quit in February, giving no reason for the move.
He immediately joined Infogrames as president, saying he was finding the company’s focus on casual gaming and an increased influence on internet business models “very exciting”.
Bet PS4 doesn’t have two HDMI ports either.
Thu, Jun 26, 2008 | 18:05 BST
Alex Evans, co-founder of Media Molecule has told GI that former Sony head – and now Atari shoulders – Phil Harrison’s influence on LittleBigPlanet’s early days was “completely key and pivotal”.
“Obviously that then transitioned into Sony, and especially the team at Liverpool, and Michael Denny – I don’t want to downplay their roles as well. But certainly with Phil, at the very beginning, the amazing thing was that he got it,” said Evans.
“We pitched much more of a platform game, the physics and so on, and he was very instrumental in telling us to think about what it would mean to have user-generated content – to think about what that means for the community.”
This is where we say “more through the link” and actually mean it.
By Mike Bowden
Mon, Jun 09, 2008 | 11:37 BST
Atari’s announced that Alone in the Dark is now gold for 360, PC, Wii and PS2.
“With its genre-busting mix of gameplay, wide-screen presentation style and DVD chapter select feature putting the player in control, Alone in the Dark will thrill all gamers,” said Infogrames boss Phil Harrison. “It’s a game which will challenge the player but also reward them with a one-of-a-kind video game experience and a huge amount of fun.”
It’s out on June 20 in Europe. Press release after the link.
Thu, May 29, 2008 | 17:57 BST
PlayStation mega-boss Kaz Hirai has admitted that he had no idea former Sony worldwide studios president Phil Harrison was moving to Atari until the deed was done.
“At the time, I didn’t know he was going to Atari,” Hirai told ThreeSpeech. “It was obviously a surprise when he told me he was going to move on.
“But, you know, it’s a small industry and he’s obviously remained in it and from his perspective, it was a great thing to move on to a new challenge. On his last day, I was in Tokyo and I called him, and said I was sad to see him go but, at the same time, I was very happy for him to take on some new challenges.”
Harrison decided to leave Sony in February to take on Infogrames’ presidency.
Full interview through the link.
Thu, May 29, 2008 | 15:12 BST
Speaking to Eurogamer, Infogrames president Phil Harrison has admitted he’s a 360 fanboy. Or not. We can’t quite work it out.
“I’ve always recognised its capabilities, so it’s not like I’ve woken up and gone, ‘Ooh, I’m a real 360 fan now.’ I’m in a different part of the industry so I have a different role to play,” he said.
“It’s been a good experience learning about other formats, not just 360 but Wii and DS, and understanding what it’s like to publish games on those platforms and create for those audiences. I’m finding it very intellectually and creatively challenging.”
Harrison was head of Sony’s worldwide studios in his last job. The inner turmoil now he’s moved must be immense.
Thu, May 29, 2008 | 13:03 BST
Talking to the MTV multiplayer blog, Infogrames president Phil Harrison would not say one way or the other if Alone in the Dark PS3 will feature Home and trophy support.
“If the libraries are available, then yeah, I would hope that the PS3 version can take advantage of that,” he told the site.
Alone in the Dark will be available on 360, PC, Wii and PS2 next month with the PS3 version scheduled for “later this year.”
By Mike Bowden
Tue, May 27, 2008 | 21:16 BST
Atari rolled out the red carpet in London last week for its pre-launch showing of Alone in the Dark, flying in a tired-looking Phil Harrison from New York to intro the game and give a few interviews. Talking to the big man is always a pleasure, and this time especially so, given his recent move from SCEE where he’d been ensconced for the past 15 years.
Harrison was in the UK to talk about the Eden action-adventure, but did answer a few questions on what it’s been like to join ex-EA boss David Gardner at Atari, the future of the firm in general, affirmation of his belief that unconnected single-players games are tomorrow’s dodos, and how he’s been busy making a bunch of new friends.
After the link.
Sat, May 24, 2008 | 20:01 BST
Updating live from the Atari UK Alone in the Dark event in London. After the link.
Sat, May 24, 2008 | 20:00 BST
Speaking to Gamasutra, Atari games boss Phil Harrison has admitted that Alone in the Dark may well be the final “core” game Atari makes.
“I don’t see that we’re going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future,” he said.
“Now, that doesn’t mean that we won’t have ambition to do really incredible games that have high quality, high execution, and high innovation, but they won’t be one-player, narrative-driven, start-middle-end games.”
We’re interviewing Phil later today. Anything you want us to ask him?