Apple hired a former member of Microsoft’s Xbox Live team to head its App Store in Europe, in a move to boost its momentum in apps and games.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company made Robin Burrowes, former product marketing chief for Xbox Live across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the head of its App Store Marketing for iTunes Europe.
Burrowes is Apple’s second outside hire in the past week. The company also brought on former CEO of European technology retailer Dixons, John Browett, as its new retail chief.
Apple is no stranger to hiring video game industry veterans, since last year the company brought on former Activision, Electronic Arts and Xbox public relations boss Nick Grange as well.
The decision to hire Burrowes, who recently helped market Microsoft’s Xbox 360 dashboard update, is likely related to his experience in the gaming industry. Many of the most popular applications in Apple’s App Store are games, and hundreds of developers have begun pouring their resources into creating simple, addictive titles for the company’s mobile store.
Burrowes will likely be a key addition to Apple’s staff as the App Store continues to grow and the company attempts to decide how to market the escalating number of games hitting its marketplace each day.
The former Microsoft employee also has experience in marketing a legitimate gaming platform, the Xbox Live Arcade, and could be key to help Apple present the iPhone as worthy option for all gamers and coalescing a strong gaming community on iOS.
The mobile video game market has changed dramatically in the past two years. As smartphones have become more powerful, and adoption of the devices has increased, sales of Sony and Nintendo’s dedicated portable gaming systems has decreased. Many users have chosen to forego buying Sony and Nintendo’s handhelds in favor of purchasing cheap games on their smartphones.
Mobile gaming is a huge market with much untapped potential, and Burrowes will likely help Apple figure out how to build an impressive presence in the booming gaming market.