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Former Microsoft and Nintendo Exec Appointed Chair Entertainment Studio Director

by Rainier on March 18, 2009 @ 2:58 p.m. PDT

Chair Entertainment announced that Howard Phillips, a 28-year veteran of the interactive entertainment industry, has been appointed studio director for the Utah-based game development studio.

Having previously held management positions at Nintendo, Microsoft, and THQ, among others, Mr. Phillips brings nearly three decades of experience in all phases of company operations including strategic planning, design, project management, consumer evaluation, and marketing. As studio director for Chair Entertainment Group, Phillips will be responsible for the continued growth of the studio, expanding its scope of development capabilities. He will also work with the development team, led by Donald and Geremy Mustard, as well as Epic Games, whom he assisted with the original design of Gear of War, to oversee product development activities and provide strategic and creative counsel.

“Howard has a remarkable history in the video game industry, and we expect the talent at Chair Entertainment to thrive under his leadership,” said Dr. Michael Capps, president of Epic Games. “Howard’s brainchild, Nintendo Power magazine’s ‘Howard & Nester’ comic, left a lasting impression on many of us. Howard’s continued inspiration, as well as his expertise in product development, will be a tremendous asset to Chair as the studio continues to grow and create ground-breaking games.”

“I am very excited to be joining the Epic Games family and for the opportunity to become part of the extraordinary team at Chair,” said Howard Phillips, studio director, Chair Entertainment Group. “I look forward to working with Chair to help achieve the growth objectives necessary for us to take the studio to the next level.”

Phillips capped off his Microsoft tenure as design director within the Advanced Strategies and Policy Group in 2006. In this capacity, Phillips was responsible for all aspects of software design for a yet-to-be-announced super-secret “incubation project.” During his nearly 10 years at Microsoft, Phillips held a variety of other positions including managing the internal Sports Games studio, creating and managing the Microsoft Playtest labs and the Xbox Game Evaluation service, and serving as design director for the internal Racing Game studio.

Prior to that, Mr. Phillips filled management roles in product development for Splash Studios, Absolute Entertainment, THQ Software, and LucasFilm Games. Phillips began his career at Nintendo of America where he thrived, working his way up from warehouse manager in 1981 to director of game creative and “gamemaster” in 1991. During his tenure, he provided feedback and direction to Nintendo development teams on console, arcade, and handheld titles, and was co-creator of Nintendo Power magazine, which remains one of today’s most successful game enthusiast publications. Phillips holds a master’s in business administration from Washington University.

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