Sony Taps Microsoft Execs for Gaming

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), the new gaming spin-off of the electronics giant, announced Thursday that it has hired several Microsoft executives to staff its new Seattle game development studio.

The new studio will be led by Matt Wilson, who had been with Microsoft for over 10 years before leaving to create his own gaming company called FireAnt along with fellow Redmond employee Ed Fries.

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Wilson played a role in the development of Mythica online game, which was canceled by Microsoft in February 2004.

According to a statement, Wilson was involved in the development of several multiplayer games including the popular Wing Commander and Asheron's Call. As part of the deal, the entire FireAnt studio will be joining SOE full-time, except for Fries, who will serve in an "advisory role."

"With the core team's expertise in the video game industry and their passion for making games, we are confident that this new studio will allow us to maintain and expand SOE's position as one of the world-wide leaders in online gaming." Sony Online Entertainment COO Russell Shanks said.

SOE touts over 800,000 subscribers to its massively multiplayer online games, including the blockbuster EverQuest franchise.

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