Unitythe company behind the game development engine of the same name, just announced that its president, CEO and president of the council, John Riccitiello“will be withdrawn” with immediate effect.
“The Board will initiate a comprehensive search process, with the assistance of a leading executive search firm, to identify a permanent CEO,” the press release says, adding that James Whitehurst will take over as interim CEO, president and board member. “Mr. Riccitiello will continue to advise Unity to ensure a smooth transition.”
It is important to highlight that the new interim CEO of Unity is an external: Whitehurst is an advisor at Silver Lake, a private equity firm that owns approximately 9 percent of Unity. (He also spent 12 years as CEO of Red Hata subsidiary of IBM known for a specific variant of Linux).
Although the press release doesn’t mention it, this is happening amid a huge controversy in the video game industry after Unity introduced a new pricing model and retroactively changed its Terms of Service, breaking trust with many game developers in the process.
Some threatened not to use again Unityor even switching to a new platform in the middle of developing your next game, due to the fees that Unity planned to charge each time its games were installed, regardless of whether those installations were legitimate new purchases or whether its games were developed under a different prior agreement with Unity. In addition to fears that they could face huge bills when the changes take effect, game developers noted that malicious actors could band together to protest marginalized developers by repeatedly downloading their games. Furthermore, they were not at all happy to see that Unity had removed its Terms of Service from GitHub, preventing developers from easily tracking changes there.
Since then, Unity has changed its pricing scheme: it will now allow developers to pay them a flat 2.5 percent of a game’s revenue if they prefer not to pay based on “engagement.”
Many were quick to point out Riccitiello personally for the disastrous price changes, given its history of making controversial statements and decisions around monetization in the past. Tom Warren comments on this: Riccitiello is almost certainly also responsible for the growth of Unity. He ran the company for nine years, almost half of its existence, in an era when half of the world’s most popular games were built using his engine (according to the company’s 2020 IPO filing). But the company has never turned a profit, losing hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
On September 25, Marc Whitten of Unity repeatedly apologized for the pricing incident, saying it was “committed to making sure we continue to work as hard as we can to earn your trust,” but some developers have decided they simply don’t trust the company anymore.
“I don’t know of anyone who has formally withdrawn their ‘I will never use again’ statement. Unity‘” Ash Parrish, a journalist who has been reporting on this saga of Unity From the beginning.
“I think people will continue to use it for current projects, but they will increasingly look for ways to get out of it for upcoming ones.”
Unity says it will release third-quarter results on Thursday, November 9, and its webcast at 4 PM Central Time may be an opportunity for the CEO interim company begins to address the panic.
Via: The Verge
Editor’s note: This is worse than I imagined, I thought the devs were going to get angry and that many were going to leave UnrealI even thought that the same and epic released a cheap version of Unreal while Unity managed to recover some followers. But it looks like things are going to get tough for Unity.