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Apple Beefs Up Gaming Presence With New Execs
Apple Beefs Up Gaming Presence With New Execs Exclusive
May 5, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

Apple is apparently gearing up for some gaming-related initiatives with some new executive hires. Most notably, it snapped up 15-year Microsoft veteran Richard Teversham -- former senior director for insights and strategy in the Xbox business.

According to Forbes, Apple's also recently hired Bob Drebin, who created the Gamecube's graphics processor. The moves have fueled widespread media speculation that Apple may be readying a more significant push into the games industry, given that its iPhone is increasingly seen as competition for handheld gaming platforms. The Forbes report suggests Apple could be shoring up the iPhone hardware to better acclimate to gaming.

"Gaming has been a remarkably resilient category despite the downturn. If I were Apple, my thoughts would definitely be turning to grabbing a larger piece of low-hanging revenue in this area," Parks Associates VP Kurt Scherf says, according to TechNewsWorld.

On the day Electronic Arts' quarterly earnings report will be released, Apple's executive moves seem also to be driving widely-reported Wall Street rumors that it might try to acquire EA.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter is highly skeptical of such talk, however. "Sounds retarded to me," he tells Gamasutra.

"Apple could buy Warner Music for around $3 billion, and control 20 percent of all recorded music," he says. "That makes more sense to their current business model than buying EA for more than twice that, doesn't it?"

"I don't want to start a rumor, but want to point out that Apple doesn't own any entertainment content," adds the analyst, "so I don't know why they would feel compelled to enter a new business unrelated to their current product slate."

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Logan Foster
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Apple has always had an on-again/off-again relationship with game developers akin to an abusive relationship. They will court us for a few months and tell us how they have changed and then they will go cold turkey, tell us to return everything and go play again in their little unique sandbox... wait i mean iPlayground because everything in the Apple world operates like some freakish dimension that they try to control.

If Apple was really serious about courting game developers they should look at correcting the slew of problems with the AppStore first. After that figure out a way to actually use the AppStore as an eDistribution system for normal games and software while figuring out how they can entice us to make OSX games without screwing us all over royally with regards to OSX updates breaking things, providing demo boxes for the length of time that actually meets our development time for our games and other resources like that.

Geoffrey Mackey
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An Apple-EA merger sounds like a strange move. I've been thinking about it since yesterday, and I don't see how the two companies would really benefit each other.

Paul Lazenby
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The EA rumor is a joke, and most sane people get that.

Regarding the game hires - this happened about 18 months ago also. At that point people were speculating about all kinds of custom game hardware, etc. Turns out they hired those folks to help develop and approve third party games for the iphone.

Me thinks most media is making a big deal out of nothing.

But Apple certainly appreciates the publicity...

Dan Robinson
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Apple-EA makes zero sense. Buying Warner Music makes a lot more sense. Bob Cringely posts on his blog today about a scenario where Apple buys internet rights for Network TV. With 29 billion in cash, Apple could build the largest library of downloadable content ever. Here is a link to the post:

An Dang
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I hope this doesn't mean a new line of consoles (iPhone/iTouch aside).

Alan Rimkeit
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EA + Apple reminds me of Time Warner + AOL. It is a massive train wreck just waiting to happen. Forget it, Apple is not that dumb. Their corporate cultures are so different it would be like trying to mix oil and water. This is just not going to happen.

Apple should just start their own Mac focused dev house. They have the cash. To me it just makes perfect sense.