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Apple hiring away PR execs from Nintendo, Activision - rumor

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Reports have emerged that Apple has poached two PR executives from gaming giants Nintendo and Activision in a continued push to establish iOS as a dominant gaming platform.

A report from MCV claims that former Nintendo UK head of communications Robert Saunders will leave his position at the end of April for a "newly created role at Apple."

Though the report admits that Saunders, and Apple, have yet to confirm the news, he will reportedly be focused on PR for iPad, iPod and iPhone apps.

Saunders spent seven years at Nintendo, during which time he helped successfully launch the Wii console and DS handheld.

In addition to Saunders, MCV> reports that Apple has also successfully poached PR director Nick Grange from Activision's European division. According to the report, Grange's role, which is also yet to be officially confirmed, will focus on iPad hardware while at Apple.

As gaming on Apple's iOS platform has taken off, Apple has turned to gaming industry veterans for help in tackling the industry's incumbents.

In 2009, Apple posted a job listing for "passionate gamer" with AAA gaming development experience. The position was similar to one filled by 'game guru' Graeme Devine, who worked as a member of Apple's iPhone Game Technologies group for a year before leaving in December 2010 to design his own games for Apple's platforms.

Last year, Apple hired former IGN editor Matt Casamassina as global editorial games manager for the App Store.

Apple's strategy appears to be paying off. According to a December 2010 report by Interpret, smartphone gaming has risen to 43.8 percent of the mobile gaming market, while the number of games played on the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP has fallen by 13 percent.
post #2 of 29
Why PR executives?
* love / honor / glory *
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* love / honor / glory *
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post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxRed View Post

Why PR executives?

Evangelism I assume.

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post #4 of 29
anyone who can get people to buy something called the "wii" has got to be doing something right.

anyway... can we get games on tv, please?
post #5 of 29
Just finished Dead Space 2. Pretty epic... Movies are nothing compared to some video games now in terms of plot, scope, originality, etc. I experienced edginess, one or two nightmares as well playing through it. Longer than the first Dead Space. While the gameplay is not as tight as the first, Dead Space 2 is as ambitious as any console title. Certainly graphic and disturbing in ways movies no longer are.

Bring on the Apple console... Till then I'll hang on to my PC gaming for as long as I can.

Altman be praised!
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In addition to Saunders, MCV> reports that Apple has also successfully poached PR director Nick Grange from Activision's European division.

Poaching is illegal. Love to see the evidence that Apple conducted such 'illegal' activity in their hiring of these two men.
post #7 of 29
I swear some of these "rumors" must be invented just to get some of us to accept (and post!) them as fact. Takes one guy to mention a rumor and all of a sudden it's accepted at face value by a whole bunch'a folks, repeated ad nauseum all over the web. AI's a great source for Apple news. The rumor thing? Not so much.

So at least we know that Apple has apparently hired a guy that used to work for Activision.
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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

anyway... can we get games on tv, please?

The primary problem holding back the AppleTV as a gaming platform is a simple one: What do you use for a controller? Sure, the obvious solution would be to use an iPod touch or iPhone, but the AppleTV was designed to be used by someone who had never purchased an Apple device, before. Who'd want to spend $200 or more for a single controller, on top of an initial $100 console? (Sure, there are cheaper iPhones, but those require a long-term contract.) So I'd think Apple would have to create a cheaper controller that's easy to use, and works similarly enough to an iPod touch, that people who brought their own could join in on the action. That's not easy to pull off.

Second of all, the A4 doesn't officially have enough power to decode 1080p gaming in real time, which is kind of important if you want to go against XBox 360 and PS3. (Wii, sure, but they'll probably go HD in a couple of years.) The A5 might not have enough power, either. It might not be until the A6 before we see the kind of XBox-like graphics and computational power that's needed, and it might take two of them, even then. For that reason, and a couple of others, I suspect that the current AppleTV won't get a refresh until the A6 is available.
post #9 of 29
Ugh. Who would want them?
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I think he was using the term to mean "Boiled in water".

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Ugh. Who would want them?

Apparently Apple, Activision and Nintendo, to name a few.

And they are probably getting paid more than you and I.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxRed View Post

Why PR executives?

Marketing communications executives would be a better description. Then it becomes obvious.

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post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxRed View Post

Why PR executives?

Not so important that they are in PR as it is that they are high level game industry insiders with networks of contacts among, distribution, developers, writers, programming studios, etc, but are not specialized in any technical discipline as to have to unlearn anything to integrate with the Apple culture. Remember Papermaster, he was very smart but too specialized in particular ways of doing things and could not mesh with the sometimes unorthodox methodology that is the Apple way.

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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Not so important that they are in PR as it is that they are high level game industry insiders with networks of contacts among, distribution, developers, writers, programming studios, etc, but are not specialized in any technical discipline as to have to unlearn anything to integrate with the Apple culture. Remember Papermaster, he was very smart but too specialized in particular ways of doing things and could not mesh with the sometimes unorthodox methodology that is the Apple way.

In other words - marketing communications.

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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

In other words - marketing communications.

Whatever... I was not dismissing your post. We were both working on our individual text concurrently. But some Jehovah Witnesses came to the door while I was writing mine so I was delayed several minutes, otherwise my post would have preceded yours.

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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Poaching is illegal. Love to see the evidence that Apple conducted such 'illegal' activity in their hiring of these two men.

...No, it's not.

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post #17 of 29
Actually poaching IS defined as an illegal activity.
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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I think he was using the term to mean "Boiled in water".

Poached executives? Doesn't sound so yummy, but I'm open to taste it.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Apparently Apple, Activision and Nintendo, to name a few.

And they are probably getting paid more than you and I.

Everyone is paid more than I.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As gaming on Apple's iOS platform has taken off, Apple has turned to gaming industry veterans for help in tackling the industry's incumbents.

If Apple is serious about this, they should develop their own games. Not only are first party games standard practice in the industry, but Apple already does it in so many other fields.

Buy at least three developers and give them free reign to make whatever they want. Jonathan Blow would be a good hire. And work more closely with third party developers to get games to perform better on OS X. Assassins Creed 2 is an utter performance joke on OS X right now.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Actually poaching IS defined as an illegal activity.

I'm not sure what the case is in the US, though to my knowledge it is in fact legal to poach staff in California - happens in Silicon Valley all the damn time. However, the executives here were from the UK and Activision's European division. Poaching is not legally preventable in the UK. I'm not sure where Activision's European outfit is based. I'd imagine it's either Ireland, the UK, Germany or France. So what the specifics are in that case I don't know. But certainly, with the Nintendo guy? Not illegal.

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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

I'm not sure what the case is in the US, though to my knowledge it is in fact legal to poach staff in California - happens in Silicon Valley all the damn time. However, the executives here were from the UK and Activision's European division. Poaching is not legally preventable in the UK. I'm not sure where Activision's European outfit is based. I'd imagine it's either Ireland, the UK, Germany or France. So what the specifics are in that case I don't know. But certainly, with the Nintendo guy? Not illegal.

Theres a terminology failure here.

The articles use of the word poaching is erroneous. What they mean is headhunting, which is the act of one company recruiting employees of another company.

Poaching, the act of illegally hunting, is clearly not legal by definition. Headhunting, the act of hiring current employees of competing businesses, is entirely legal.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Whatever... I was not dismissing your post. We were both working on our individual text concurrently. But some Jehovah Witnesses came to the door while I was writing mine so I was delayed several minutes, otherwise my post would have preceded yours.

That's the funniest excuse I've heard all year - so off-the-wall it has to be true!

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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by desides View Post

Theres a terminology failure here.

The articles use of the word poaching is erroneous. What they mean is headhunting, which is the act of one company recruiting employees of another company.

Poaching, the act of illegally hunting, is clearly not legal by definition. Headhunting, the act of hiring current employees of competing businesses, is entirely legal.

Correct.

AppleInsider used the wrong terminology. Head hunting is entirely legal, and heavily practiced in the state of California as employment here is "at will". Anti-compete clauses are almost impossible to enforce in this state (which is one reason why Silicon Valley has nurtured so many new businesses).
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by desides View Post

The articles use of the word poaching is erroneous. What they mean is headhunting, which is the act of one company recruiting employees of another company.

It wasn't really intended to be taken so literally. Just an embellished writing style.

He could have said it a dozen different ways. Apple recruited some executives from other high tech companies which presumably was not agreeable to said companies, however, there was nothing legal that they could do to prevent it.

Snappy!

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post #26 of 29
Well, what is poaching anyway... When you hire someone they have to come from *some* job which is probably from the *same* industry. You can't expect companies to be hiring lots of fresh graduates or lots of people from other industries and specialisations. That's one of the hindrances of current capitalism, there are limited pools of specialised expertise and this is a significant constraint for a lot of companies. In a real knowledge-based economy, knowledge should be easily transferred as well as history of contacts, business networks, etc. Not the case quite yet.

Remember the problems Apple, etc. had for their anti-poaching agreements? That was deemed anticompetitive.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Actually poaching IS defined as an illegal activity.

What? No more poached eggs?
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

What? No more poached eggs?

Not from me
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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

Evangelism I assume.

Seems a bit of a waste. The games are selling themselves right now. Maybe something to do with a push into AppleTV gaming?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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