With the ink barely dry on Phil Harrison's shock new contract with Atari, his new colleagues were already lining up this week to praise the former PlayStation figurehead's appointment.
As Harrison arrived in New York in advance of his official unveiling, David Nadal, boss of Alone In The Dark developer Eden Studios, expressed his delight at the move, which further bolsters Atari following the surprise arrival of former EA man David Gardner as Infogrames CEO.
"I don't know Phil very well, but what I know about his job and what he's done in the past, he has very strong feelings about games and where the industry should go," said Nadal, speaking exclusively to Eurogamer at Atari's New York HQ this week.
"I think he had the casual turn before everybody [else]. I was one of the first to be amazed by EyeToy and then SingStar and Buzz. This vision will help us a lot."
Eurogamer joined Harrison as he flew in to New York on Monday lunchtime in upper class (him, not us) on 9:30am Virgin flight VS03 from London's Heathrow airport. Despite furious Internet speculation on his future in the wake of his dramatic exit as development chief from SCE, Harrison was in relaxed and buoyant mood as he went through passport control and entered the US an Atari man, admitting only that he was in the US on "business".
Within two hours, Harrison had joined his new boss Gardner at Atari's offices on 5th Avenue to thrash out the final details of the announcement of his new role. Following a week of frenzied rumour, staff were buzzing from the moment he arrived.
"It's really great he's finally here," an employee confided. "This is looking like being a great year for Atari."
"We're really excited and very happy he's coming on board," added Alone In The Dark producer Nour Polloni.
Staff from several international Atari offices were joined this week in New York by key gaming press for a special preview event for Eden's ambitious revival of the Alone in the Dark franchise.
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