Lionhead Studios: New Studio Head

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Microsoft Studios has announced the appointment of John Needham to the role of Studio Head of Lionhead, effective immediately. Reporting into Phil Harrison, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, John will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Lionhead Studios. We had covered previously Peter Molyneux the face of Black & White and Fable; leaving Lionhead Studios and Microsoft.

Lionhead studios

John has been a prominent figure in the video game industry since 2001. Previously being CEO of Cryptic Studios known for Neverwinter and City of Heroes and, most recently, Gazillion Entertainment makers of Marvel Heroes.

Needham brings over twelve years of leadership, business development and financial experience in the entertainment and online gaming industries to the role. John’s deep understanding of all aspects of the gaming industry, from subscription-based, massively multi-player to client-based console and free-to-play online, PC and mobile experiences, will be a huge benefit to Lionhead and European Studio operations more widely. John has also served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Operations, and CFO at Sony Online Entertainment (SOE); as a board member of Quark Games (publisher of over fifty Top 25 apps, with in excess of 40 million installs); and is a former member of the Gamestop Digital Advisory Council (US).

 “This is a historic time in our industry and I’m excited, and honoured, to be joining Lionhead and Microsoft Studios,” John says of his appointment. “Our vision is focused on building innovative gaming services and AAA experiences at Lionhead, and the rest of Microsoft Studios, which take advantage of Microsoft’s incredible hardware and software platforms. Personally, I can’t wait to get started.”

In welcoming John to his leadership team, Phil Harrison adds:

“It’s my pleasure to welcome John Needham to Microsoft Studios and Lionhead. He brings a wealth of proven executive leadership experience in the online gaming space to the company and I know he will confidently lead Lionhead towards an ambitious online future.”

Lionhead studios

The real question fans are asking though, is what will the next piece of the Fable Journey look like?