Microsoft has been in touch to clarify that Kudo Tsunoda's expanded role will not affect Phil Spencer's duties at head of Xbox.
“Today I am pleased to share that Kudo Tsunoda will expand his charter on the Xbox leadership team. While the Halo, Gears of War, Forza and Minecraft franchises will continue to report to me, I've asked Kudo to lead the vision and experience development of our other Microsoft Studios portfolio investments in the United States, Europe and across our Global Publishing team," said Phil Spencer in a quote provided by Microsoft.
"Kudo has been driving the creative direction and experience development for Microsoft HoloLens, and I fully expect that he will bring a fresh, innovative and gamer-centric approach to development for our expanding and diverse game portfolio across Xbox and Windows 10 devices including HoloLens. I'm confident we have the right leadership in place for continued success across our entire portfolio, and look forward to sharing more from our team in the future.”
Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda, corporate vice president at Microsoft, will be expanding his role to include leading teams across Europe and guiding the publishing team. He's also made extensive changes to Xbox's current developer setup.
"I'll still be working on the Microsoft HoloLens certainly, but I'm also now going to be leading a bunch of new Xbox teams," he said.
"Our teams in the UK, so Rare, Lionhead and then out Lift London studios. I'm working with our Microsoft Studios publishing team on some of the great games that they're putting together like Quantum Break, Scalebound, Crackdown, all very exciting titles, but then also working with some of our newer teams, so studios like Press Play, Twisted Pixel, Decisive Games, and building some new franchises and really getting some different and interesting experiences that I think Xbox fans are going to really love."
"Obviously if we were worried [about these changes] these are not things we would be doing; we're making the changes to really set things up for success"
He also stated he had moved people within the organization around. Hanno Lemke, GM of Vancouver-based Gears of War franchise developer Black Tusk Studios at Microsoft, will now be based in London and will be the GM of UK studios and Press Play. John Needham, studio head of Lionhead will return to Redmond to focus on HoloLens and new Xbox IP. Wil Mozell, formerly the GM of Big Park, becomes the GM of Microsoft Studios Canada and will work with Black Tusk.
"Obviously if we were worried [about these changes] these are not things we would be doing, we're making the changes to really set things up for success."
Xbox Wire also stepped in to clarify where that would leave the responsibilities of the current head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.
"While the Halo, Gears of War, Forza and Minecraft franchises will continue to report to Phil Spencer, Kudo 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," said Microsoft in a statement.
Microsoft took the media-savvy step of releasing a video explaining this corporate shuffle, but decided to break the news just as Apple announced its latest notebook and the details of the Apple Watch via a livestream.
Last week GamesIndustry.biz revealed that Phil Harrison, VP of the Interactive Entertainment Business and EMEA head of games at Microsoft, was planning to leave the company after becoming frustrated in his role. Additionally, Soho Productions and Lift London, which Harrison helped found, recently merged into one team.