PSP News: Phil Harrison to Join Infogrames/Atari? - PSP News

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Phil Harrison to Join Infogrames/Atari?

  Have you had time to digest the news of Phil Harrison's departure? If you haven't and are still coping, then perhaps you'll want to take a deep breath for this bit of "news". Gamesindustry.biz has received word that Phil Harrison's departure from Sony doesn't mean he's leaving the gaming world.

   Instead, apparently, he's on his way to head up operations at Infogrames, the parent company of Atari. If true, Harrison will join Infogrames CEO David Gardner, who was formerly EA's Chief Operating Officer of Worldwide Studios. Gardner was with EA from 1983 up until 2008, and Harrison was with Sony since 1993. Together, Gardner and Harrison share an immense amount of business talent, and can very well restore the Atari brand.

   "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.

   We recently found out that Harrison wasn't entirely pleased with how Sony was handling their approach toward the casual market - the market that the Wii has capitalized on, which has helped it catapult to immense success. With this possible move coming to fruition, Harrison and Gardner may very well make the Atari brand cater to the new demographic of casual gamers, perhaps by targeting releases for the Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation 2. And to be frank, the Atari brand would make for a good candidate as the publisher of enjoyable casual titles, but we still hope that under this new direction, they'll begin to present us with proper AAA material.

2/25/2008 Arnold Katayev

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