Howard Phillips, a 10-year veteran of Microsoft’s videogame efforts and a widely known executive in the games industry, is the new director of Epic Games’ subsidiary

Chair is based in Utah. The company has worked closely in the past with best-selling science fiction author Orson Scott Card, a North Carolina Resident.

, which is based in Cary and is developer of the best-selling “gears of War” series as well as the widely used Unreal game engine, acquired Chair last year.

Phillips recently was involved in development of what Epic calls a “super secret” project at Microsoft as design director in the Advanced Strategies and Policy Group. Phillips has worked for 28 years in the games industry.

Phillips also helped Epic design the original Gears game.

“Howard has a remarkable history in the video game industry, and we expect the talent at Chair Entertainment to thrive under his leadership,” said Michael Capps, Epic’s president. “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.”

Phillips has also worked for Splash Studios, Absolute Entertainment, THQ Software, and LucasFilm Games.