Unity CEO John Riccitiello has introduced that he’s retiring from the corporate efficient instantly. The information comes virtually a month after the corporate introduced plans to introduce a controversial set up payment for builders, which resulted in an industry-wide backlash.
Riccitiello is stepping down as CEO, president, and a member of the board of administrators. In a press launch, Unity states that James M. Whitehurst will take over as interim CEO whereas the board seeks a everlasting alternative. Whitehurst is a tech veteran who served as president at IBM from 2008 to 2020 and as a senior advisor from 2021 to 2022.
“It’s been a privilege to steer Unity for practically a decade and serve our staff, clients, builders and companions, all of whom have been instrumental to the Firm’s progress,” Riccitiello says in an announcement. “I sit up for supporting Unity via this transition and following the Firm’s future success.” Riccitiello grew to become CEO of Unity in 2014 following his tenure as CEO at EA.
“I’m honored to affix Unity as Interim CEO and President at this necessary time in its evolution,” says Whitehurst within the press launch. “With the Firm’s skilled management and passionate staff, I’m assured that Unity is well-positioned to proceed enhancing its platform, strengthening its group of consumers, builders and companions, and specializing in its progress and profitability objectives. I sit up for working carefully with the Board and our proficient world group to execute on our technique, and I anticipate a seamless transition.”
Moreover, Unity plans to launch its third-quarter monetary outcomes after the market closes on November 9. A webcast will observe at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.
Unity ignited a firestorm of controversy final month when it introduced it deliberate to introduce a brand new Runtime Charge. Principally, builders of Unity-developed video games must pay a payment after their titles had been put in a sure variety of instances, per set up. This mandate even utilized video games that had been launched previous to this system’s deliberate introduction on January 1, 2024.
Unity is an particularly fashionable engine for indie builders, with many studios publicly blasting the choice. Some studios threatened to drag their video games from sale as soon as the Runtime Charge went into impact, whereas others introduced plans to change in-development titles to a distinct engine whereas rallying others to keep away from utilizing Unity for future tasks. Unity even obtained dying threats that pressured its workplaces to shut briefly.
The foundation of builders’ challenge with the coverage was that they might all of a sudden should pay a probably exorbitant quantity of additional cash on profitable titles, even when they had been launched years in the past. Builders additionally expressed anger on the lack of readability and transparency in Unity’s preliminary messaging, notably on the firm’s strategies of gathering set up knowledge and that the coverage probably violated the engine’s unique Phrases of Service settlement.
Unity ultimately apologized in an open letter, promising to regulate its coverage whereas clarifying a few of its murkier parts. Though this messaging considerably alleviated the ire, many builders have acknowledged that their belief in Unity has been irreparably broken, and others known as for Riccitiello’s resignation. Whereas many have gotten their want immediately, it stays to be seen if it is going to be sufficient to restore the broken relationship between Unity and its shoppers.