Xbox One: Europe is a "critical market for us next generation", says Microsoft

Phil Harrison will "kick us upside the head when we get too North American-centric"

Microsoft's Xbox One reveal might have given over-much screentime to US sports and television programming, but according to the company's Games Studios vice-president Phil Spencer, we in Europe haven't been forgotten. A great Champion is coming, armed with the Sword of Positive Developer Relations and the Shield of Frankly Excessive Height, and that Champion's name is corporate vice president Phil Harrison.

"We've got our partnership with Crytek, which is going well, which is good to see," Spencer told OXM at a pre-reveal event, earlier this month - read the full report on that here.


"Our investment in first-party in Europe is critical. Europe is a critical market for us next generation. I don't have to give you the map - you can just go back and look at the map of Xbox 360 and how well we've done - we've been very strong in North America and we've been strong in Canada, we've been strong in the UK.

"There are markets in Europe where we need to do better," he continued, "and our lead there in bringing on Phil Harrison [pictured] is how do we bring on a senior executive who can look across all parts of our business with a background of creating success in Europe and give him that charter."

Disturbingly, this appears to involve the threat of physical violence. "[We'll] give him the studio resources, give him the contacts with the field sales team, the marketing team and the connections here in Redmond to kick us upside the head when we get too North American-centric. He would actually kick over my head, I think, he's very tall." There are these things called "restraining orders", Spencer. You might want to invest in a couple.

"It's great to see that leadership in Europe for us," the exec continued, "and [European Xbox boss] Chris Lewis has done a great job for us as more sales and marking, but now we're working with Phil, it's creating a real tight partnership where we can look at all aspects of our business.


"And specifically, in some of the southern European markets, its very important that we up our game there relative to the competition, because it's an area where there's opportunity for us. Knock on wood, our strength in the US is something that we'll continue to focus on, but now having Phil on that team in Europe is really going to be a catalyst, hopefully for us achieving more in Europe."

Speaking separately to Edge, Spencer has confirmed a number of TV provider partnerships outside the US. He's very happy about Microsoft's European games development partnerships and projects in general.