Ex-EA CEO responds to backlash after calling devs “f**king idiots” over microtransactions

Unity CEO john riccitiello speakingFlickr: Web Summit

Controversial comments from Unity CEO John Riccitiello incited a negative reaction from the public and he has now reacted to his “crude” choice of words.

Monetization in gaming has been a sore point for players for many years now with the controversial business model becoming commonplace in the industry.

With NFTs proving to be the latest craze affecting gaming, the idea of having to spend more money on top of the base fee for games has never been fully accepted.

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So it was quite startling when Unity’s CEO not only encouraged the notion of monetization but chastised people for not incorporating them more into their games.

Unity CEO John Riccitiello’s thoughts went down like a lead balloon and he has performed a u-turn on his comments.

Unity CEO apologizes for monetization comments

In an interview with PocketGamer, the former EA CEO, Riccitiello, said: “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 f**king idiots.”

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The comments pertained to a potential merger between Unity and ironSource, a company that specializes in app monetization and distribution, to expand the company’s scope and vision.

Unity has proved to be a successful game engine used for plenty of well-liked names including the mega-popular Pokemon Go.

The gaming community was unanimously outraged at Riccitiello’s comments, so much so that the CEO addressed his comments in a Tweet.

The apology pushed back some of the criticism, but it wasn’t enough to undo the severity of his comments. “I have never seen so many people in the community seriously considering switching engines after having used Unity for years, because of everything that has been happening,” said one disgruntled user.

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Due to the overwhelmingly negative reaction, Riccitiello issued a full apology: “I’m going to start with an apology. My word choice was crude. I am sorry. I am listening and will do better.”

The CEO goes on to say that he has respect for game developers and they “work incredibly hard and want people to play their game.”

Riccitiello surmises near the end: “If I had been smarter in choosing my words I would have said just this…we are working to provide developers with tools so that they can better understand what their players think, and it is up to them to act or not, based on this feedback.”

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It’s commendable that an apology was issued, but you have to wonder how much damage has been done already.

We’ll have to wait and see if there’s any reaction and fallout to Riccitiello’s apology.