Change is afoot at Microsoft, but it won't affect Games For Windows Live, claims the company. GFW Live general manager Chris Early is gone – a victim of Microsoft's proposed 5,000 in layoffs over the next 18 months – but the company says it's all-in when it comes to future-proofing Windows-based entertainment.
Here's the official line:
Moving ahead, Microsoft will continue to invest in Windows as a first–class gaming platform through great Windows out of box experiences, our online gaming services including Games for Windows – LIVE, MSN Games, and Messenger games, and through new games for Windows developed by Microsoft Games Studios.
Our Windows gaming service efforts will be led by General Manager Ron Pessner, who is joining Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. He comes from within Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division.
Working closely with Ron will be Dave Luehmann, a long time Microsoft games veteran and General Manager within Microsoft Games Studios, who will now be overseeing internal development and publishing for all Windows-based games.
Beyond these changes, we are not commenting on specific personnel issues at this time.
Who's Ron Pessner? It's not clear yet. He's apparently had a variety of jobs at Microsoft, ranging from Director of Product Planning to Senior Director in the Windows Client Unit to General Manager of the Connected TV Division to General Manager of the Ehome Partner Team.
So lots of experience with Microsoft in general then.
But what I don't see as I poke around the web for information on Mr. Pessner, is any indication of experience with Windows gaming.
Matt Peckham hopes Microsoft's actions live up to its lofty words. You can follow his paranoid missives at twitter.com/game_on.