Xbox and HoloLens games now under domain of ex-Lionhead boss

Former Lionhead Studios boss John Needham is now in charge of internal development for several games and experiences on Microsoft's Xbox and HoloLens platforms, a Microsoft spokesperson told Engadget today. Needham reports directly to Kudo Tsunoda, head of Microsoft Studios' portfolio investments team and former creative director for Kinect Games. Needham took over as the head of Microsoft's Lionhead Studios in 2013 and he's been involved in the corporate gaming world since joining Sony Online Entertainment in 2001. As the leader of Lionhead, the studio behind Fable, Needham reported directly to former Microsoft VP Phil Harrison. Needham relocated to Microsoft's offices in Redmond, Washington, for his new role.

A Microsoft spokesperson offered the following statement to Engadget today (partially repeating its announcement about Tsunoda's move in March):

"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. 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. All up responsibility for Xbox EMEA will be overseen directly by Phil Spencer."

This isn't the only internal shakeup for Microsoft this year: Reports that Harrison would leave Microsoft cropped up in March, and the company confirmed the news in April. Harrison's new startup, Alloy Platform Industries, deals in bleeding-edge consumer gadgets and licenses some technology from Microsoft, he told Games Industry this week.

John Needham