Long-time games industry figure and former EA CEO John Riccitiello called out developers who are against microtransactions, saying they need to “massively embrace how to figure out what makes a successful product.”
In a recent interview with PocketGamer, Riccitiello, now Unity Technologies’ CEO, was discussing the growth and future of the gaming industry.
Giving his thoughts on what factors are still holding developers back from greater success. One element he believes is a key factor for the success of a game is microtransactions.
Riccitiello began by recounting his own experience in the industry, stating that he has “been in the gaming industry longer than almost anybody, getting to the grey hair and all that”.
He goes on to comment on the state of the gaming industry, moving away from the formula it was built on.
“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.”
Microtransactions are a big source of contention in the gaming industry. When adding them to games, devs often come under fire from their community. Especially if the addition makes unlocking features or add-ons impossible without the in-game purchase options.
Recently, Blizzard has been getting criticism for their inclusion in Diablo Immortal. While microtransactions mostly appear in free-to-play games, more AAA titles have begun to feature them in the last five years.
When commenting on the pushback the Unity team faced from devs about the idea of implementing monetization early into the development of a game, the former EA CEO’s response was extremely candid and made his stance on microtransactions clear as day.
“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.”