Not since Square-Enix president Yosuke Matsuda’s notorious letter about pursuing NFTs has someone in the games industry so spectacularly lost the plot that we’re left reeling, but here we are in 2022 reading an interview with Unity CEO John Riccitiello saying that game devs who don’t include monetization features in their game design are – direct quote pull – “fucking idiots.”
The discussion about games monetization is spawned from Unity’s recently revealed plans to acquire ironSource – a company that exists solely to help app developers monetize their creations and include ads – in an all-stock transaction worth $4.4B. That toolset provided by ironSource is talked up by Riccitiello, and in his mind there’s a gulf of success between game devs who ignore monetization practices as part of their design and those who embrace it early.
“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 favorite 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.
“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.”
Response from the gaming industry has come in pretty swiftly as a result of both this interview and the Unity merger announcement, with many taking to Twitter to either lance at the company’s moves or talk other devs away from using the Unity engine. As one tweet puts it: “Oh Unity, what r u doin.”
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