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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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