While nothing has been officially confirmed yet, UK gaming magazine MCV is reporting that current Nintendo UK head of PR, Rob Saunders, and Activision’s European PR director, Nick Grange, are set to join Apple to help promote iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps and iPad hardware, respectively.
Saunders recently surprised industry watchers by suddenly announcing his departure from Nintendo, and his next destination was unclear until this point. If Grange is also set to join him, it will represent a major coup for Apple having poached two top gaming executives. What’s more, it demonstrates that Apple is getting serious about games.
Rob Saunders joined Nintendo seven years ago and oversaw the launches of both the Nintendo DS and Wii consoles in the UK, as well as numerous award winning ad campaigns for games such as Nintendogs, Pokemon, and Super Mario Galaxy. He also currently sits on the Video Games Committee for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Nick Grange joined Activision in 2007, and prior to that he held positions at Electronic Arts and Microsoft, where he was responsible for the UK launch of the Xbox 360 and games such as Gears of War and Halo 2 and 3.
While it is somewhat ironic that a former Microsoft PR exec is joining forces with Apple, there’s no denying that the Xbox has been quite successful as a game platform. Maybe Apple is preparing for a push in that direction. It certainly has the pieces in place: envision the iPod touch or iPhone as controller, the iPad 2 as gaming machine, and AirPlay to an Apple TV or the HDMI cable to connect it to the big screen in your living room.
We’ll keep you posted if an official announcement is made.