Unity CEO apologises for calling developers 'f*cking idiots'

'My word choice was crude. I am sorry. I am listening and I will do better'

Unity CEO apologises for calling developers 'f*cking idiots'

The chief executive officer of video game software development company Unity Technologies apologised after calling developers who don't consider monetisation early in the process of games as "f*cking idiots."

Unity CEO John Riccitiello made the controversial remark during an interview with Pocket Gamer, when he was asked about the pushback from some developers on monetisation in a game's early development.

"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 favourite people in the world to fight with – they're the most beautiful and pure, brilliant people. They're also some of the biggest f*cking idiots," Riccitiello told PG in the interview.

"I've been in the gaming industry longer than most anybody – getting to the grey hair and all that. It used to be the case that developers would throw their game over the wall to the publicist and sales force with literally no interaction beforehand. That model is baked into the philosophy of a lot of artforms and medium, and it's one I am deeply respectful of; I know their dedication and care," he added.

His remarks garnered backlash after his interview went live - with the CEO immediately reacting on it with a tweet that 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."

Read more: More CEOs should spend some time in their business – here's why

In a follow-up statement, Riccitiello expressed his apology while clarifying his remarks during the interview.

"I'm going to start with an apology. My word choice was crude. I am sorry. I am listening and I will do better," he said.

His statement was also filled with praises for game developers, while acknowledging that some make games for "art's sake" and some do it for a living.

"I have great respect for game developers. The work they do is amazing. The creativity can be incredible whether on a AAA console, mobile or indie game, designed to be played by millions. Or a creative project, a game made just for the sheer joy of it," he said.

"Sometimes all a game developer wants is to have a handful of friends enjoy the game. Art for art sake and art for friends. Others want player $ to buy the game or game items so they can make a living. Both of these motivations are noble."

He also offered a longer explanation regarding his remarks on the interview.

"What I was trying to say, and clearly failed at saying, is that there are better ways for game developers to get an early read on what players think of their game. To learn from their feedback. And, if the developer wants, to adjust the game based on this feedback. It's a choice to listen and act or just to listen. Again, both are very valid choices," he said.

"If I had been smarter in choosing my words, I would have said just this... we are working to provide developers with tools so they can better understand what their players think, and it is up to them to act or not, based on this feedback," he added.

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