John Riccitiello (Unity Technologies CEO) and Marc Whitten (Senior Vice president and General manager of Unity Create), were interviewed regarding the upcoming Unity-ironSource merger. This merger follows the recent aquisition of Weta Digital in November 2021. It was during the interview that Mr. Riccitiello made a very bold statement after they were asked about implementing monetization earlier in the process of game development to which he provided some compliments along with a very blunt criticism as well.
Ferrari and some of the other high-end car manufacturers still use clay and carving knives. 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.
I’ve seen great games fail because they tuned their compulsion loop to two minutes when it should have been an hour. Sometimes, you wouldn’t even notice the product difference between a massive success and tremendous fail, but for this tuning and what it does to the attrition rate. There isn’t a developer on the planet that wouldn’t want that knowledge.
Since the controversial statement regarding monetization was made in the interview various outlets have reported on it and, as usual, memes about it have also begun to appear on social media triggering a response from Mr. Riccitiello.
Clickbait. Out of full context. Deeply sorry if what I said offended any game dev. Absolutely love the people that make games. Creative, hard work. #Unity— John Riccitiello (@johnriccitiello) July 15, 2022
Monetization in games continues to be a hot topic among gamers and depending on how they are implemented, government leaders as well.