MVC reports that Apple has hired away gaming PR executives from both Nintendo and Activision. According to the gaming site, Nintendo UK comms boss Rob Saunders is jumping ship from Nintendo, where he oversaw PR for devices like the Wii and DS, to Apple. He will head the newly created role focused on PR for gaming on the iOS platform.
Apple has also nabbed Nick Grange, who was Activision's European PR director. Before Grange's work at Activision, he held positions at Electronic Arts and Microsoft. It's unclear what Grange's position at Apple will be, but it is rumored to focus on iPad hardware.
Apple's poaching of the two executives should come as no surprise; gaming on iOS devices is becoming a large portion of what people do on them. A survey released this week showed 84 percent of tablet owners play games on their devices (including the iPad 2), while a survey from September stated 44.1 million people were playing games on the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad in the US alone. Those numbers are huge considering the same survey said Nintendo's DS audience was 41 million (a close second) and Sony's PSP audience was only 18 million. Clearly gaming on iOS devices will continue to be a focus for Apple in the future.