Unity CEO Apologizes For Calling Game Devs Not Focused on Monetization "F*cking Idiots"
Chief Executive Officer at Unity John Riccitiello recently apologized for calling game developers not focused on monetization "some of the biggest fucking idiots” during an interview. Riccitiello already noted on Twitter that he was “deeply sorry if what I said offended any game dev,” but the executive has now issued a full apology along with a clarification of his earlier comments.
"I want to talk about both what I said in the interview and my follow up tweet," Riccitiello pointed out on Twitter. "I'm going to start with an apology. My word choice was crude. I am sorry. I am listening and I will do better. What I can do, perhaps, is provide more on what I was thinking when I did the interview. What I would have said if I had taken great care.”
Riccitiello listed four important points that he wanted to make absolutely clear. "First, I have great respect for game developers. The work they do is amazing,” the executive said. “The creativity can be incredible whether on a triple-A console, mobile, or indie game designed to be played by millions. Or a creative project, a game made just for the sheer joy of it."
"Second, one thing I have seen is that most game devs work incredibly hard and want people to play their game. To enjoy it. And when appropriate for players to engage deeply.” Riccitiello added that “for the game devs I have worked most closely with, there is often anxiety about whether players will love the game and appreciate all the work and love that went into making it."
The executive went on to explain the rationale behind his previous comments. "Third, sometimes all a game developer wants is to have a handful of friends enjoy the game. Art for art's sake and art for friends. Others want player money to buy the game or game items so they can make a living. Both of these motivations are noble.”
Riccitiello finally arrived at the heart of the matter, noting that "fourth, what I was trying to say and clearly failed at saying is that there are better ways for game developers to get an early read on what players think of their game. To learn from their feedback. If the developer wants, to adjust the game based on this feedback.” Riccitiello said that “it's a choice to listen and act or just to listen. Again, both are very valid choices." The executive described his previous comment as a “sentence that I wish I had never said."
Riccitiello has been getting a lot of bad press lately for the purchase of what many are describing as a malware distributor, Ironsource, despite a recent layoff at Unity. “The combination of Unity and Ironsource better supports creators of all sizes by giving them all the tools they need to create and grow successful apps in gaming and other consumer facing verticals,” the executive said last week. The workers affected by the layoff apparently referred to the whole matter as a “shit show." Riccitiello claimed in the later interview that "over half of them got rehired within other parts of Unity."
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