Windows gaming boss Jason Holtman leaves Microsoft

Jason Holtman, former director of business at Valve, has left Microsoft after only about 6 months of working there. This was made official by a Microsoft representative that wished him the best in his endeavours.

Microsoft’s employment of Holtman  was expected to usher in a new era of making the Windows platform a great place for gaming, drawing on his previous experience with Valve during his 8 year employment with them.  He left Valve almost exactly a year ago (happy anniversary) during a ‘cleanse’ of the company in what was deemed suspicious circumstances and joined Microsoft almost 6 months down the line. Unfortunately his position at Microsoft has not lasted, but what does this suggest for Microsoft or Valve for that matter?

Well, when Holtman started working for Microsoft, Valve viewed this as some sort of threat and seemed to focus more on developments for Linux and Mac systems. He was considered a large part of the driving force behind Steam and was expected to bring his digital distribution experience and relationship building skills, which saw EA and Activision selling their games on Steam, to Microsoft.

As Holtman was not at Microsoft for very long, he would not have had a lot of time to improve or influence the company’s approach. I would have thought his skills would be very useful for integrating Indie games onto the Xbox One and continuing the development of affordable downloadable games. If anything, now is when his skills would start to come into play, we’d have thought.

Since Holtman left Valve they have not suffered as a company, with the Steam store stronger than ever and the hype surrounding Steam box consoles rife. I do not see this affecting Valve in the slightest… unless perhaps Valve wants the director back – now that would be a surprise move!