Former Valve executive Jason Holtman has joined Microsoft, according to GamesIndustry International. Holtman was in charge of Steam for eight years, helping to turn it into the digital distribution platform juggernaut that it is today. Holtman was the point man for developers looking to get their games on the platform, and is credited with convincing big third-party publishers like Activision and Electronic Arts to hawk their PC wares there.
While Holtman declined an interview request from GII this morning, he did confirm that he was now working for Microsoft and would be focusing on "Windows gaming."
"Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment," he told the publication. "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."
In February of this year Holtman quietly left the company at about the same time as several high-profile employees were laid off. One of those high profile employees included Valve hardware engineer Jeri Ellsworth. Other Valve employees that were laid off at the time included lead visual designer Moby Francke (Team Fortress 2 team), senior developer Tom Leonard, developer Elan Ruskin, animator Keith Huggins, artist Realm Lovejoy, lead tester Marc Nagel, artist Bay Raitt (from the Source Filmmaker team), and animator Matthew Russell.
Will Holtman retool Microsoft's Windows 8 Marketplace for games, making it more attractive for developers who have in the past claimed that it is "ruining the PC?" We'll let you know when we learn more about the scope of Holtman's role at Microsoft.