In the last decade, EA has come under quite some fire from the gaming community. The publisher even holds the record for the most down-voted comment in Reddit history after they responded to criticism regarding Star Wars: Battlefront II’s microtransactions.
However, ex-EA CEO John Riccitiello, who left the company in 2013, still doesn’t quite understand why some game developers aren’t focusing on money when designing games.
In an interview with PocketGamer.biz, Riccitiello (currently CEO of Unity Technologies) spoke about the merger between Unity and ironSource. According to the former EA executive, developers who aren’t focusing on microtransactions are “the biggest f**king idiots.”
“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 also some of the biggest f**king idiots.”
That quote came up from a question about how developers should be implementing monetization strategies earlier in development. Riccitiello doesn’t seem to understand why there is any pushback from certain teams and equates it to high-end car manufacturers doing things the old way. He goes on to state, “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.”
Obviously, reception to these comments hasn’t been positive. A lot of smaller developers have taken to social media to voice their disdain for Riccitiello’s tone-deaf statements. David Goldfarb, creative director on the upcoming Metal: Hellsinger, wrote, “This is a fairly dramatic shitting of the bed even by CEO standards.” ‘
While it is unlikely that any substantial change will happen in the short term from these comments, John Riccitiello may have just signed a death warrant for the Unity Engine. While ill-informed players often throw shade at Unity, the engine is incredibly versatile and supports easy transport of assets between platforms. It is solid for what smaller teams need.
Sadly, it seems the people in charge would rather chase disastrous industry trends instead of making sure the people earning them money actually have a product they can be proud of.