In the wake of Xbox European boss Phil Harrison leaving Microsoft to start his own company, Lionhead chief John Needham is heading to Washington to take on a new executive role overseeing internal development of games and experiences for Xbox and Microsoft's upcoming HoloLens.
This new role will see Needham working with Microsoft exec (and one-time HoloLens evangelist) Kudo Tsunoda, who was recently bumped up to oversee a slew of Xbox game studios that includes Lionhead, Rare, and other European firms.
"With the exception of Halo, Gears of War, Forza and Minecraft, Kudo Tsunoda will lead the vision and experience development of our other Microsoft Studios portfolio investments in the United States, Europe and across our Global Publishing team," a Microsoft representative told Gamasutra. "John Needham relocated to Redmond in a new role overseeing internal development for several games and experiences for both Xbox and Microsoft HoloLens reporting to Kudo."
Before joining Lionhead in 2013, Needham spent time serving as the CEO of Champions Online operator Cryptic Studios and, later, as CEO of free-to-play game company Gazillion. After taking the reins at Lionhead he made a show of transforming the company into a "games-as-a-service" studio during development of its upcoming free-to-play title Fable Legends.