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Steam hero to spearhead Windows gaming push

Wednesday, 14th August 2013 23:19 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Valve veteran Jason Holtman, once the industry’s first point of contact for Steam, has joined Microsoft with the intent to turn Windows into “a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment”.

Holtman confirmed his new role with GamesIndustry.

“I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment,” he said.

“I think there is a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to deliver the games and entertainment customers want and to work with developers to make that happen, so I’m excited to be here.”

A former lawyer, Holtman served with Valve for eight years. Although not as publicly recognisable as Gabe Newell and Doug Lombardi, he was the primary point of contact for companies in getting on board Steam, and championed the service tirelessly. He was largely responsible for signing major third-part publishers to the then-untested digital distribution platform.

Holtman’s February departure therefore caused quite a stir, even in the midst of several other high-profile departures in something of a mini-exodus.

Holtman’s move to Microsoft has raised eyebrows among commenters as it suggests Microsoft has decided to take PC gaming seriously – something that has seemed more and more unlikely as the platform holder has neglected the space leading up to the Xbox One’s launch later this year. With Holtman on side, Microsoft would stand a greater chance of enticing games publishers and developers to utilise a Microsoft-backed digital distribution service, whether it’s an improved Games for Windows Live or something entirely new.

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10 Comments

  1. papizdano

    the master race shall return !

    #1 12 months ago
  2. salarta

    Good luck with that.

    It would be nice if things worked out well, but Microsoft has been stupid lately, and messed up Windows 8 pretty bad for anything to do with not only gaming but even basic use.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. wally10975

    @ Prove to me that Windows 8 lacks any function besides a start menu in that Windows 7 has…

    #3 12 months ago
  4. papizdano

    they just need a layman in a high place to steer them in the right direction… i mean seriously if they would begone their mentality of making a buck and just try to be innovative as much as possible they would soore

    #4 12 months ago
  5. salarta

    @3: The start-up to a tiled interface is an extra annoying and needless step, having to move your mouse to the upper right and wait for something to pop out to access anything that isn’t already pinned or on the desktop is completely unintuitive both in location and in functionality, and Gabe Newell himself said Windows 8 is a horrible backstep for video games on PC.

    http://www.vg247.com/2012/09/10/valve-windows-8-will-accelerate-microsofts-decline-newell/

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Stardog

    The problem for PC gaming is that there’s no Windows Store for W7, and Steam is a closed platform.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. wally10975

    @5 try right clicking the start screen, just like all programs from windows 7, or even better, just type what you’re looking for, just like windows 7, but is actually faster

    #7 12 months ago
  8. wally10975

    And as far as windows 8 killing gaming on PC, I have upgraded, an all my games run smoother on windows 8, so that is a joke that an expert like himself would shoot this os in the foot without ridicule testing of it across multiple games

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Kreion

    @5

    Did you read the rest of that interview, or even the comments in that damn article? Newell was and in concerned about the visibility of Steam, this is about MONEY – not gamers or functionality.

    As a gaming platform Win8 is just as functional as every other version of windows. With that said, I think that it’s a good thing that MS have got someone who has experience with pushing digital gaming. Steam has set the bar for what gamers think is and isn’t acceptable through a lot of give and take over many years, if MS have someone who can use this to change their digital service I can only consider that a good thing.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. The_Red

    He better prepare for some serious headaches and confrontations. Seriously, I can’t believe some people see this as a sign of Win / Xbox stores going after Steam.

    MS will NEVER allow super awesome deals and that type of freedom. After all, they are the same asshole who are now charging for Office as a subscription.

    #10 12 months ago

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