Microsoft's recently hired PC gaming and entertainment leader departs [Update]

Microsoft's plans to get back into hardcore PC gaming may have hit a rather large snag. Jason Holtman, who started working at Microsoft as its new PC gaming and entertainment leader in August, has now apparently left the company.

Holtman's LinkedIn page shows that he departed Microsoft in January, less than six months after he was hired. He previously worked for over seven years at Valve, where he was the company's director of business development. He received a lot of credit and praise for opening up Valve's Steam game download service to third party developers and publishers.

We have contacted Microsoft to see if we can get an official comment on Holtman's departure and if they have hired a replacement. Ironically, the PC gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun published a new interview today with Microsoft creative director Ken Lobb, who claims that the company is highly committed to PC gaming. Lobb stated, "We’re getting very strong support internally. So we’re really going after PC." However, he did not offer any specifics on those plans, simply saying that Microsoft is "very dedicated to that space." The departure of Holtman might have put some of those plans on hold.

Update: Microsoft has sent Neowin the following statement from a company spokesperson: "We can confirm that Jason has left Microsoft and we’re grateful for his time at the company. We wish him the best in his future endeavors." In addition, PC Gamer noted that Holtman mentions his departure from Microsoft on his Facebook page shortly after our story was posted but he did not offer any details.

Source: LinkedIn | Image via PCGamesN

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19 Comments

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Maybe he said "let's just integrate Steam into Windows" and Microsoft followed that with "get the hell out!" lol

I do think Steam is PC gaming. Microsoft shouldn't even try to compete.

I think the XBone being unable to drive 1080p gaming whilst PS4 can is a bigger mess than anyone wants to admit. MS can't really do any major cross platform game on the PC as it would shame the XBone too much.

Not really surprising honestly, probably far too much bureaucracy and outdated mindsets at Microsoft for him to really do anything worthwhile.

Too bad. There is some money to be made there as long as enough resources are put to the task. Same with consoles.

I'm not sure what Microsoft's strategy is. They need a lot of killer games to sell the X1. It's the only way to make the make the X1 profitable. And not to mention that these games will make a profit on their own as well. Seems like a win-win situation. Naturally a game can also fail but if you dont try than X1 will certainly fail.

Ronnet said,
Too bad. There is some money to be made there as long as enough resources are put to the task. Same with consoles.

I'm not sure what Microsoft's strategy is. They need a lot of killer games to sell the X1. It's the only way to make the make the X1 profitable. And not to mention that these games will make a profit on their own as well. Seems like a win-win situation. Naturally a game can also fail but if you dont try than X1 will certainly fail.


Yep. I don't think the Xbox/console division *wants* the PC gaming to reach its full potential. Especially if they're afraid competing (or beig forced to cooperate) with the PC games will be to their detriment.

Man, the Xbox and 360 have a lot of exclusives from Microsoft that'd be perfect on PC. Don't even need to go foe the latest and greatest titles, even...

I think Microsoft should have made the Xbox into a PC with a specific set of specifications. Developers could develop with these specs in mind but it would also run on any other configuration.

The benefit of consoles is ease of purchase, ease of use and good performance for many years. This is because devs can make sure a game looks good on a specific set of specs and get the most out of those specs. This would not be lost on having an Xbox PC.

Basically you'de have the Xbox UI shell with full Windows underneed. Accessible to users but hidden to make sure it remains easy to use for most. I really think Microsoft is being foolish by not using their competitive advantages in the field of software.

we're really going after PC .... very dedicated to that space
talking out of his ass, only venting hot air

I'd say they're pretty serious about gaming on the PC. They've released Solitaire, Mahjong, AND Minesweeper. Not sure what's taking them so long on Reversi though. Could be a rights issue.

Excellent Enron! Excellent.

Enron said,
I'd say they're pretty serious about gaming on the PC. They've released Solitaire, Mahjong, AND Minesweeper. Not sure what's taking them so long on Reversi though. Could be a rights issue.

Enron said,
I'd say they're pretty serious about gaming on the PC. They've released Solitaire, Mahjong, AND Minesweeper. Not sure what's taking them so long on Reversi though. Could be a rights issue.
As long as there's no Donkey, Gorilla or Nibbles I don't give a damn. C'mon Satya, make it happen!

Chikairo said,
My money is on culture clash and company politics making life hard.

A good possibility - I can only imagine that the culture at Microsoft and Valve is about as different as it's possible to get.

Chicane-UK said,

A good possibility - I can only imagine that the culture at Microsoft and Valve is about as different as it's possible to get.


Yea, MS is layers and layers of management and buracracy, valve is no management