Remember those Valve layoffs we wrote about in February? One of the casualties was Jason Holtman, director of business development for Steam. Holtman had been with the firm for eight years, and he's now working for Microsoft. GamesIndustry International has confirmed Holtman's new digs—and, more interestingly, that he's "focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment."
According to the GamesIndustry article, Holtman was the "driving force" behind Steam, which is easily the best game distribution platform around. Holtman is credited with recruiting both smaller developers and big-name publishers like EA and Activision. He apparently had a role in "calming publisher fears" about the huge discounts in Steam's summer and holiday sales, too.
If Holtman was working on content distribution for the Xbox One, I wouldn't have been surprised. Microsoft has for years emphasized Xbox gaming, seemingly at the expense of supporting the PC. But Holtman claims to be working on Windows, suggesting the folks at Redmond have renewed interest in the PC as a gaming platform. Perhaps they, too, have noticed an uptick in PC gaming revenue.
Although we don't have any specifics on Holtman's current projects, I hope he's been tasked with replacing Games For Windows Live with something less awful. While perhaps not as objectionable as Origin or Uplay, GFWL could use an overhaul. Holtman should have the experience to steer Microsoft in the right direction. The question is whether he'll have enough pull to overcome the company's current inertia.
|The Tech Report System Guide: September 2017 edition||10|
|Intel shows off 10-nm Cannon Lake wafer and talks process tech||18|
|AOC Agon AG322QCX offers 32" of gaming goodness on the cheap||13|
|Aqua Computer Cuplex Kryos Next block is ready for Threadripper||8|
|Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 10 gets a meaty hardware upgrade||19|
|Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 and NH-L12S are ready for little boxes||8|
|Gigabyte's X399 Designare-EX adds Thunderbolt to Threadripper||14|
|No, you can't enable Threadripper's extra two dice||52|
|International Talk Like a Pirate Day Shortbread||29|
|For some users, though, Apple's commitment to maintaining the software on its devices as they age is an even more compelling reason than hardware for...||+37|