Games industry veteran John Riccitiello has stepped down from his position as Unity’s CEO effective immediately. Riccitiello’s departure comes after a highly controversial announcement by Unity that it would charge developers a fee every time players install a game beyond a certain threshold. Backlash was swift, and it looks like it spelled doom for Riccitiello.
John Riccitiello served as Unity CEO for nearly a decade
Riccitiello is no stranger to controversies. He led Electronic Arts at a time when the company garnered a reputation for being voted “one of the worst companies” in America. He later joined Unity, and it was during this tenure that he referred to developers who don’t monetize their games as “idiots.”
When Unity announced its new fee for game installs, a large number of developers protested against the company and vowed to boycott its engine. Although Microsoft and Sony didn’t release public statements, it was understood that Unity’s new install fee would impact PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass as well. Unity eventually decided against the proposed changes.
In a press release, Unity said that its Board has begun looking for a replacement for Riccitiello and thanked him for his service. There was understandably no mention of the aforementioned controversy.