Update: Just before noon today, Riccitiello posted a longer statement on Twitter that acknowledged the backlash to his comments and gave his stance on things. It’s too long to print in full, but he insisted, “My word choice was crude. I am sorry. I am listening and I will do better.” You can see the full statement on his Twitter account.
A day after his comments set many indie developers on edge, Ex-EA and current Unity CEO John Riccitiello tweeted out a statement claiming his “fucking idiots” quote was taken out of context, but that he is deeply sorry.
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It’s All About the Benjamins
For those not in the know, Ex-EA CEO John Riccitiello recently made headlines for claiming in an interview that developers not focusing on monetization during the development of games are “the biggest fucking idiots.” He attempted to rationalize it as something like car manufacturers using outdated methods to cater to specific audiences. The main gist of the article was about Unity’s merger with ironSource, but Riccitiello’s comments distracted from any of the business talk.
A day after the quote started making headlines, Riccitiello went to Twitter to issue a statement that attempted to give his spin on things. Many aren’t buying his words as they attempt to shift the blame to unreliable reporters instead of addressing what he actually said.
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
Sins of the Father
We should always be willing to forgive those for their past transgressions, but when they continue to repeat mistakes made in the past, there is only so much a person can do. John Riccitiello is no stranger to controversy having run EA from 2007 until 2013 (after previously being COO from 1997 until 2004). Under his tutelage, EA began aggressively monetizing games by charging for cheat codes in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 and even introducing the online pass in 2010, coincidentally with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
Riccitiello eventually left the company as EA’s financial performance was dropping, but it wasn’t before attempting to kickstart techniques that would nickel and dime players. One can’t rest the blame of all the current industry’s problems on Riccitiello’s feet, but there’s a very clear reason why Electronic Arts was named “the worst company in America” while he was in charge.