Gaming boss quits after furious pricing backlash
Following a contentious price shift that enraged both players and developers, Unity’s CEO, John Riccitiello, has left.
The company intended to charge developers every time someone loaded a game that used Unity’s technology, which powers hundreds of current video games.
Large developers already pay a licensing fee to utilize Unity in their games.
The corporation has subsequently rescinded the majority of its intentions and apologized.
Mr. Riccitiello has announced his retirement from Unity.
The Unity game engine is the code underlying numerous popular video games, including Pokemon Go, Genshin Impact, and Beat Saber, and is frequently utilized by small companies.
It is software that allows developers to create video games by combining technologies that manage things like animation and music.
It is feasible to construct such an engine from the ground up, but it is time-consuming, thus businesses frequently employ ready-made versions to save time.
Unity is popular among developers because of its widespread use and ease of use for newcomers.
However, Mr Riccitiello’s intentions to change how the business charged developers sparked significant outrage, with some threatening to abandon the technology entirely.
Gamers and fans also wondered whether free-to-play games would have to adapt in order to accommodate the new costs. Unity was also compelled to flee its San Francisco headquarters after receiving word of a death threat.
Mr. Riccitiello subsequently told the New York Times that the response had “truly humbled” him.
He has previously fought with the gaming community and was compelled to apologise for using ugly words to insult developers who disagreed with him on how to monetize their games.
Mr Riccitiello’s sudden departure was not explained.
He joined the firm in 2013 from Electronic Arts, the publishing behemoth responsible for games like EA Sports FC (formerly known as Fifa), The Sims, and Mass Effect.
He had served as EA’s CEO since 2007, but quit after conceding that the company’s results would fall short of expectations and that he was “100% accountable.”
Mr. Riccitiello will take Unity public in September 2020 in a stock market floatation valued at $13.6 billion (£11.1 billion). Its stock price peaked at over $200 a year later, but has subsequently dropped to $29.70 per share.
While Unity’s sales has increased, reaching $553 million in the three months ending June 30, the company is still losing money. Its most recent quarterly statistics reflect a $188.5m pre-tax deficit.
James Whitehurst, a former executive at IBM, will take over as temporary CEO.
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