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Saturday, April 24, 2010, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple hires new games editor for the iPhone App Store from IGN

Apple has hired Matt Casamassina of IGN to serve as the global editorial games manger for its iTunes App Store.

Casamassina got started in covering gaming when he launched N64.com, a site that was later bought by IGN. After 13 years of reviewing games and covering the industry, he's known to many readers in the gaming industry as a prime source for information about Nintendo.

In his new position at Apple, Casamassina wrote in a blog posting, "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."

Apple has been promoting App Store games particularly on the iPod touch, which features game play in its ads. Games make up a large percentage of the apps available for the iPhone OS, and iTunes' model of a wide variety of low priced game titles has attracted enthusiastic development and strong sales volumes to users.

The success of the iPod touch and iPhone as handheld gaming devices has shocked Sony and Nintendo, which are both struggling to reinvent their handheld gaming platforms to make them more attractive to a young demographic that is increasingly more ubiquitously networked and socially connected than ever.

The huge selection of games in iTunes poses a challenge for small developers looking to stand out, but many developers have discovered that the meritocracy that Apple has cultivated has allowed great work from even independent individuals working alone to become popular and profitable titles.

The new games editor position will be tasked with helping users discover new and interesting content. Casamassina will start work in the new role in early May.