Unity boss says game devs who refuse to embrace monetization are "f**king *****s"

midian182

Posts: 8,471   +104
Staff member
A hot potato: Those of a certain age may remember a time when buying a video game meant a one-off payment for purchasing and enjoying the title in its entirety. These days, many full-price titles come with microtransactions of some sort, yet you'll often find developers who shun such things are lavished with praise from gamers. Unity CEO John Riccitiello, however, doesn't share this view; he thinks devs who don't embrace monetization are "f**king idiots."

In an interview with PocketGamer.biz that primarily focuses on Unity and IronSource's upcoming merger, a move that will see over 200 people lose their jobs, Riccitiello is asked about developers who push back against implementing monetization in their games.

"Ferrari and some of the other high-end car manufacturers still use clay and carving knives," he said. "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 f**king idiots."

Riccitiello then talks about the divide between those developers who "massively embrace how to figure out what makes a successful product" and those who leave the money-making side of things to others, such as publicists.

As you can imagine, Riccitiello is trending on Twitter right now.

While microtransactions/loot boxes/in-game ads in full-price titles will always prove controversial, as we saw in Star Wars Battlefront II and UFC 4, such things are generally more accepted in the free-to-play mobile market. And it's here where some will say Riccitiello has a point. Diablo Immortal has been lambasted for its aggressive microtransaction model that allows players to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to max out a character. And yet, despite it being the worst-reviewed game in Metacritic history because of this reason, Blizzard's game made $50 million in its first month of release.

"I've seen great games fail because they tuned their compulsion loop to two minutes when it should have been an hour," Riccitiello said. "Sometimes, you wouldn't even notice the product difference between a massive success and tremendous fail, but for this tuning and what it does to the attrition rate. There isn't a developer on the planet that wouldn't want that knowledge."

It's surprising Riccitiello decided to air what was always going to be controversial comments in the wake of the Unity merger. In addition to the jobs it has cost, IronSource is known for creating InstallCore, an installation and content distribution platform that's a popular malware installer. Still, it's hard to imagine the former EA boss will care.

Masthead credit: TechCrunch

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James Ryan

Posts: 37   +75
Man I hate how capitalism just has to destroy everything for the sake of $.
I miss the glory days of gaming when Devs got to enjoy making games for the sake of making something special and we all got to enjoy that. Now Devs are stuck optimising everything to funnel money to an investment fund.....
 

eforce

Posts: 1,048   +1,509
Man I hate how capitalism just has to destroy everything for the sake of $.
I miss the glory days of gaming when Devs got to enjoy making games for the sake of making something special and we all got to enjoy that. Now Devs are stuck optimising everything to funnel money to an investment fund.....

This has nothing to do with capitalism, just gaming went mainstream, and to appeal to the lowest common denominator you generally end up with a cesspit.
 

bviktor

Posts: 1,152   +1,684
Man I hate how capitalism just has to destroy everything for the sake of $.
I miss the glory days of gaming when Devs got to enjoy making games for the sake of making something special and we all got to enjoy that. Now Devs are stuck optimising everything to funnel money to an investment fund.....
Thank all the cheapskates who cry over $10 game price increases over the span of 5 years.
 

dangh

Posts: 846   +1,440
This guy should focus on his job, first. Whenever I see game made in Unity I know that my PC will have a sweat - 5600x and 6900xt on 4k will always hit highest temperature and optimization is so much worse than Unreal 5.
Maybe they should focus on performance/optimization first, and then on monetization. I do understand though that games have to be more expensive but that should result in higher price, not in bleeding the payment across number of dlc / MT. I'm happy to get a new GoW game full price at releasw, because I know it will deliver huge content without any paywall. And if I pay more for a pint of beer than 10 years ago, I'm fine with paying more for a top class game which devs do not treat me as money bag.

Obviously gaming becomes mainstream, and as we rarely get a good movie now because it's better to make 5+seasons sitcom to earn money, same can become the truth for companies developing games. Does not matter anymore what devs wants, it is just a product which they need to milk to no end - cod, bf, even elder scrolls (yeah, horse armor dllc ffs) and other. There are still a few larger companies doing solid, old - school games, but most people pays for sh*t so how long it will take for them to not bother anymore?
Majority and greed wins most of the time, unfortunatelly.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,086   +1,972
@RobThubron

I find it interesting that you guys will censor the use of cuss words when you write, but you don't censor cuss words in quotes. Here are examples in your story (and this isn't the first story I've seen). It just looks stupid that cuss words are censored in half the story and the other half they are not.

It's like on shows when they bleep out cuss words, but in the closed captions they spell the word out....or when the cuss words are not bleeped out, but the closed captions the cuss words show up as *****.
 

Ohnooze

Posts: 441   +815
Can’t go 2 steps without somebody shitting on capitalism these days… from their smartphone, in an air-conditioned space, sipping their overpriced latte etc… with absolutely no self-awareness.
Exactly this. Unfortunately people these days can't see the obvious. No system is perfect but I would take capitalism over anything else without a second thought.
But hey...spoiled people think silly things.
 

envirovore

Posts: 554   +1,020
TechSpot Elite
@RobThubron

I find it interesting that you guys will censor the use of cuss words when you write, but you don't censor cuss words in quotes. Here are examples in your story (and this isn't the first story I've seen). It just looks stupid that cuss words are censored in half the story and the other half they are not.

It's like on shows when they bleep out cuss words, but in the closed captions they spell the word out....or when the cuss words are not bleeped out, but the closed captions the cuss words show up as *****.

I frequent a site where swear and a few other words are filtered and get slightly changed when posted in a post.
however, it's allowed to post memes or even just pictures with those same words in them uncensored.

Makes just as much sense as what you're pointing out here.

On topic:
F*ck this guy. Maybe work on optimizing your engine instead.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,404   +7,829
Man I hate how capitalism just has to destroy everything for the sake of $.
I miss the glory days of gaming when Devs got to enjoy making games for the sake of making something special and we all got to enjoy that. Now Devs are stuck optimising everything to funnel money to an investment fund.....
As I see it, people who are trying to make something special are called scammers (not that I agree). So, they are damned if they do, damned if they are don't.
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 144   +174
Yea when I buy a game and if it has in game transactions to make make your toon look all pretty by using real money or all the other stuff I just ignore all that and play the game. If the game is good I may buy the DLC to expand on the game but the game itself has to be actually worth playing before I even consider buying anything after paying $60-$80 CAD for most times just the standard edition of the game.

I never buy into these season passes to me at least I think it's a complete waste of money for what you get in return. Give me a good game and I will buy it but will never use the in game microtransaction system but if the game is good I may opt to buy a DLC upgrade.

I did this with Destiny 2 bought the game and the first few DLC expansions and was very triggered when they made the game free to everyone later on. But with that game what made me say nope no more spending in this game was when the game dev started removing parts of the game that was DLC expansion stuff we all paid for in favor of making room for new DLC expansions on the game map. They removed whole expansion stories and the worlds they were connected to as well.

When the latest DLC came out I wanted to get it but said nope because I feel that there was already so much that I paid for that had been already removed from the game and why would I spend more money on this game just to get hosed yet again and not be able to play the content I bought and paid for. If this is the way the game industry intends to go as more dev's probably start doing this then I guess I'll have to find a new hobby to fill what little spare time I have to enjoy an hour or two each week of gaming.
 

waclark

Posts: 781   +487
Man I hate how capitalism just has to destroy everything for the sake of $.
I miss the glory days of gaming when Devs got to enjoy making games for the sake of making something special and we all got to enjoy that. Now Devs are stuck optimising everything to funnel money to an investment fund.....
Why does monetization have to "destroy" gaming? Do you think those developers like working for free? Do you think they like getting laid off when a game fails? Why should you get to enjoy the fruits of someone's labor without compensation?

Video games are a business and as such developers need to make money to stay in business. I find it ironic that on the one hand people are screaming for living wages and then they will turn around and berate and belittle a company trying to make a profit.

Some monetization schemes are ridiculous, that is certain, but I feel like the market will handle that because people will stop playing when it gets too expensive to play and the game will fail.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,277   +1,554
Why does monetization have to "destroy" gaming? Do you think those developers like working for free? Do you think they like getting laid off when a game fails? Why should you get to enjoy the fruits of someone's labor without compensation?

Video games are a business and as such developers need to make money to stay in business. I find it ironic that on the one hand people are screaming for living wages and then they will turn around and berate and belittle a company trying to make a profit.

Some monetization schemes are ridiculous, that is certain, but I feel like the market will handle that because people will stop playing when it gets too expensive to play and the game will fail.

Well stated! Subversive forces are hard at work in America thanks to China and demented leftists who clamor for communism. I am still waiting for the low-IQ people that rail against capitalism and corporations to open their own companies and work entirely for free with unpaid unemployees and no profits so they can demonstrate how to do it successfully since they claim to "know better".
 

hazphan

Posts: 14   +25
Exactly this. Unfortunately people these days can't see the obvious. No system is perfect but I would take capitalism over anything else without a second thought.
But hey...spoiled people think silly things.
The core of Capitalism is fine, but we are just getting a state where the brutal marketing is invading culture, art, storytelling. We PAY for commercials when we buy cable tv, or a streaming service for example. Furthermore, the commercials I see are for drugs trying to tell you your skin sucks, or you're depressed. Since when should a commercial try to diagnose me? It should be illegal, only a qualified doctor should recommend drugs. Not TV commercials playing parodies of ELO/Beatles songs!

If Diablo trys to sell me Skyrizi in D4 then all hope is lost.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 643   +895
Another day, another needless and unprovoked self destruction on Twitter.

If he were as clever as he thinks he is, the company he's leading wouldn't be falling through the floor. And he sure as hell wouldn't choose this moment to take a dig at his customer base.

His statement is about as insightful as you're going to get from someone who views culture purely as something that you sell.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,260
This has nothing to do with capitalism, just gaming went mainstream, and to appeal to the lowest common denominator you generally end up with a cesspit.
The problem is not and has never been capitalism; blaming it makes as much sense as blaming entropy for making your house messy. Capitalism is a response mechanism that evolved in an intelligent species confronted with scarcity of resources and time as an improvement over the old system of "kill others and take their ****"; unlike socialism it is not a constructed system whose malign influence seeped into other areas but one that has grown up alongsides civilization itself.

The problem is the victory of nihilism in the zeitgeist; if nothing has a higher purpose and there are no ideals, objective morals or standards of behavior to observe or pursue, the only thing that justifies the means is the ends. The ends of capitalistic endeavor is profit, but unguided by our other goals as humans - to provide goods, services, support artists, feed people, cure diseases, etc - it inevitably becomes perverse in seeking that profit motive.

tl;dr **** nihilists.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,344   +2,022
Why does monetization have to "destroy" gaming? Do you think those developers like working for free? Do you think they like getting laid off when a game fails? Why should you get to enjoy the fruits of someone's labor without compensation?

Video games are a business and as such developers need to make money to stay in business. I find it ironic that on the one hand people are screaming for living wages and then they will turn around and berate and belittle a company trying to make a profit.

Some monetization schemes are ridiculous, that is certain, but I feel like the market will handle that because people will stop playing when it gets too expensive to play and the game will fail.
Sorry, wrong path. No one is saying developers can't charge money for games. The complaint is the switch from honest, disclosed-up-front, voluntary pricing to newer deceptive models that produce extraordinary results primarily because they are exploiting temporary loopholes in the laws that normally prohibit gambling and exploitation of minors.