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Devolver Digital names former Apple games business manager to lead mobile charge


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Today, Devolver Digital announced that it has appointed former App Store games business manager Mark Hickey as its new VP of mobile publishing.


For Devolver, this appointment is the first major step toward an increased focus on mobile after the successes of games like Downwell and the Reigns series. To that end, Hickey's résumé is a perfect fit. Hickey has effectively done a "tour of duty" (as he puts it) at just about every aspect of mobile development except publishing.


Hickey began working in the games industry in 2002 for Gameloft, doing all the content distribution agreements and account management for the company's mobile portfolio. Then, when Apple's App Store went live in 2008, Hickey managed Gameloft's relationship with them for several years, helping launch over 100 iOS titles. After a brief stint away from the industry at a start-up called Keep, he returned to work at Behavior Interactive for a few years, and then Apple in November of 2013.


At Apple, Hickey joined the worldwide development relationships team as a partnerships manager with a focus on games. In this role, he worked with major companies such as EA, Activision-Blizzard, 2K, Microsoft, and Epic, but also small and mid-sized publishers like Devolver Digital. He later moved to the App Store team, where he worked with the same partners as what he referred to as the "nexus" between developers and Apple's game-interested stakeholders.


Now, at Devolver, Hickey will be managing publishing of the company's mobile portfolio - both its existing titles and new, upcoming games. That means helping developers get the word out to larger audiences, and seeking out new, unique titles to publish under Devolver's name. For Hickey, his new job is an opportunity to embrace his love of small, creative developers.


"I really am attracted to the indie-focused, artist-first, creator-first positioning, both as a consumer and as a professional," he said. "I think it's a place where we can have really meaningful impact on individuals' careers versus the kind of impact you can have, say, to an EA or an Activision. It's really cool to work with companies of that size with the reach that they have and the world-class IP, but ultimately it's that human element that I find to be most rewarding.


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