Unity's Riccitiello talks monetisation, pisses off everyone

Unity's Riccitiello talks monetisation, pisses off everyone

The CEO of engine maker Unity John Riccitiello has angered parts of the indie dev community for comments he made about monetisation in a recent interview.

Speaking to sibling, the exec said – in typical brash terms – that developers who do not have a plan for monetisation while making their game are "fucking idiots." While there is a grain of truth in there, many in the indie games scene have not reacted positively to this comment.

"Ferrari and some of the other high-end car manufacturers still use clay and carving knives," Riccitiello said, referring to people with an older-school mentality in game development. 

"It’s a very small portion of the gaming industry that works that way, and some of these people are my favourite people in the world to fight with – they’re the most beautiful and pure, brilliant people. They’re also some of the biggest fucking idiots.

"I’ve been in the gaming industry longer than most anybody – getting to the grey hair and all that. It used to be the case that developers would throw their game over the wall to the publicist and sales force with literally no interaction beforehand. That model is baked into the philosophy of a lot of artforms and medium, and it’s one I am deeply respectful of; I know their dedication and care.

"But this industry divides people between those who still hold to that philosophy and those who massively embrace how to figure out what makes a successful product. And I don’t know a successful artist anywhere that doesn’t care about what their player thinks. This is where this cycle of feedback comes back, and they can choose to ignore it. But to choose to not know it at all is not a great call."

This news comes hot on the heels of Unity acquiring mobile company IronSource.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.