ohn Riccitiello has stepped down as CEO of Unity, a game development tool, following a contentious pricing change that irked gamers and developers. Unity initially proposed charging studios each time someone installed a game powered by Unity's code, which underpins numerous modern video games. While big developers already paid a licensing fee for using Unity, these new plans received widespread backlash. Many developers and gamers questioned how free-to-play games could handle the new fees. Unity has since reversed most of these changes, apologised, and Mr. Riccitiello decided to retire immediately.
He will be temporarily succeeded by James Whitehurst, formerly of IBM. Riccitiello had been with Unity since 2013, leading the company through significant growth. However, the company, despite increasing revenue, has not yet turned a profit. The abrupt departure comes after past clashes between Mr. Riccitiello and the gaming community. His tenure included instances of using crude language to describe developers who disagreed with his ideas on monetising games. Unity's stock value initially soared but has since fallen considerably.