Unity CEO Resigns Amid Controversy Over Engine Monetization Strategy

John Riccitiello is stepping down as Unity's CEO after the backlash the company got after it announced its monetization plans.

Unity’s long-standing CEO, John Riccitiello, who previously held a key position at Electronic Arts, has stepped down following a stormy response from developers to the company’s proposed game engine monetization plans. These plans were subsequently revised due to the backlash.

Riccitiello, who first joined Unity’s board in 2013 and became its CEO in 2014, expressed gratitude for his tenure:

It’s been a privilege to lead Unity for nearly a decade and serve our employees, customers, developers and partners, all of whom have been instrumental to the Company’s growth. I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the Company’’’s future success.

Succeeding Riccitiello, former IBM president, James Whitehurst, will take the helm as Unity’s interim CEO and president. The Unity board has also announced a change in its leadership, with Roelof Botha stepping up as its new chairman.

James Whitehurst, on his appointment, shared, “With the Company’s experienced leadership and passionate employees, I am confident that Unity is well-positioned to continue enhancing its platform, strengthening its community of customers, developers and partners, and focusing on its growth and profitability goals.

Unity has rolled back any monetization plans the company had for its game engine, confirming that it won’t be charging per-install fees for those with Unity Personal and Unity Plus plans.