Matt Cassamassina announced this weekend that after 13 years on the payroll, he will be leaving his job as IGN’s Nintendo guru to take up residence at 1 Infinite Loop as Apple’s newly minted editorial games manager for the iTunes App Store.
A brief background — Though the Casamassina name may not resonate with everyone, he was, and remains, a popular writer with an extensive catalog of Nintendo game reviews and previews. He got his start as the editor of N64.com back in 1997 before the site was gobbled up by IGN and incorporated into the well-known gaming property.
In a farewell blogpost, Casamassina described his affection for Apple and what his new job at Apple entails:
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. 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.
Sounds good to us, and you can make a strong case that a hiring like this was long overdue.
You see, the onslaught of titles on the iTunes App Store is a double edged sword for consumers. While a large selection of games, for example, is always welcome, it’s become increasingly tougher to separate the wheat from the chaff. While Apple has a “What’s Hot” section along with a “Featured” section for apps it feels are particularly worthwhile, I’ve noticed on more than one occasion a number of blatantly spammy and worthless apps occupy prime real estate on the iTunes landing page.
That being the case, Casamassina’s hiring will hopefully help create some order in an insanely populous marketplace where quantity can often overshadow quality.
As an aside, and because it’s late, here’s one more thing to chew on – Five years ago, a Nintendo reviewer getting hired by Apple would have sounded as ridiculous as an ESPN writer taking on a job at The Weather Channel. And yet, here we are. Man, you gotta love the twists and turns of tech.