Apple poaches IGN’s specialist Nintendo reviewer to be ‘app store games manager’

Matt Casamassina is moving to the iPhone maker. What does Apple think he can change, though?

Yeah, let’s see Apple match that. Photo by Thomas Duchnicki :: Location Scout on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Matt Casamassina, of the IGN gaming site, is leaving it to join Apple:

“Beginning early May, I will join Apple as global editorial games manager, App Store. In a nutshell, I will be leading the charge for games on the App Store, so whether you browse through iTunes, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, the games content you see will be handpicked and organized by me and my team. I couldn’t be happier.”

Although he might need to brush up on the difference between ownership and being in charge: “Anybody who has read my work through the years will know that I’ve long been a huge Nintendo fan, but if there is one company that could entice me away from covering Mario and Zelda it’s the one owned by Steve Jobs.” Errr, actually, Jobs runs the company. Shareholders own it. But, you know, easy mistake.

The commenters are positive – and amazed: “I’ve been reading your material since you first began at IGN, when I was ohhhh, about 11. I’m 24 now, and to think I won’t be reading anything from you on IGN is quite weird,” says the first. There are plenty of requests to review one more game…

Casamassina specialised in Nintendo game reviews; Wikipedia tells us that in 1997 (aged 21) he started as editor of the N64 website which then became the Nintendo 64 section of IGN.

You can still find his IGN articles.

What though does Apple want with him? “Global editorial games manager” is an interesting title, but is Apple really just wanting to have someone who chooses what the store should tout?

More useful, perhaps, to see this in the context of the competition between Apple and Nintendo over gaming. The Nintendo DS, as we know, is far and away the best-selling handheld console. But Apple has ambitions there – at least in the form of its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (the iPhone OS platform). Nintendo’s US president Regie Fils-Aime was none too positive about the iPhone OS in a recent interview in which he also denied that he was seeing any effect on DSi sales from iPhone OS:

“Apple “is not having an impact on Nintendo when you look at our business, our volume, our hardware, our software,” Fils-Aime said. “I’ve seen data that suggestions that while consumers are constantly downloading Apps, they play with them for a few times and then they are moving on to the next thing.”

“Clearly it doesn’t look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads.”

“Fils-Aime believes that gamers will stick with Nintendo’s portables over Apple’s because in the end the gaming experiences are very different.”

“If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, (Apple’s) aren’t even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get.”

Is the point behind Casamassina’s hiring to change that? Might be interesting to keep a watch.






Charles Arthur © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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