You probably couldn't pick Jason Holtman out of crowd, but he's been a significant player in the PC gaming milieu over the past decade. From mid-2005 until early 2013 he was the director of business development at Valve, and following that he had a brief tenure heading up Microsoft's PC gaming and entertainment strategy. He left that post in January , and now he's landed where everybody seems to be going these days: Oculus VR .
As the "Head of Platform" at Oculus, Holtman will be "spearheading the business development and partnership side" of the Oculus Rift, the company said. That sounds not too far off the role he filled at Valve, where he was in charge of content and development licensing for Steam and the Source engine, as well as development, marketing and distribution partnerships. His time at Microsoft was considerably more short-lived and less successful, but given Microsoft's apparent lack of interest in the PC market anyway, he can hardly be blamed for that outcome.
"I'm humbled to become a part of this team," Holtman said in a statement. "I'm not one of the pioneering scientists or engineers in virtual reality, but I am one of the people that can't stop grinning every time I see something new inside the headset, and I'm looking forward to helping shape the transformative experiences that inspire the next generation of developers."
Holtman is one of the more high-profile hires at Oculus, but he's far from alone. In fact, the company has been on a real tear lately, picking up personnel from Valve, Google, Electronic Arts, 343 Studios, id Software, Bungie and several others. At least 17 have joined up just since March:
- Neil Konzen, former engineer at Valve and one of the original Microsoft employees
- Brian Hook, former engineer at RAD (Telemetry) and the original author of 3Dfx Glide
- Adrian Wong, former lead systems engineer at Google[x] (Glass)
- Ian Field, former engineer at ARM and co-inventor of Cortex-M
- Raul Corella, former head of supply chain at JawBone, Monster, and Leap Motion
- Laura Fryer, former GM of Epic Seattle and WB Seattle
- Paul Pedriana, former lead engineer at EA
- David Moore, former engineer at RAD (Granny)
- Kenneth Scott, former art director at 343 Studios (Halo 4)
- Seneca Menard, former technical artist at id Software
- Paul Pepera, former environment artist at Valve and 343 Studios
- Brian Sharp, former engineer at Bungie
- Aaron Nicholls, former engineer at Valve, 343 Studios, and Microsoft
- Matt Alderman, former engineer at Valve and ArenaNet
- Cass Everitt, former GPU architect and engineer at Nvidia
- Ross O'Dwyer, former at head of development support at Havok
- Douglas Lanman, former research scientist at Nvidia Research and MIT Media Lab
Other big-name executives at Oculus include id Software co-founder John Carmack , Quake and Half-Life developer Michael Abrash and former EA Vice President David DeMartini , the man who became famous in 2012 for saying that Steam sales cheapen intellectual property.