Leading Unity into the Future

October 22, 2014 in Community

Hello everyone! As you all know, we’ve been making some big moves at Unity lately. We’ve partnered with some amazing companies and begun putting a lot more energy and resources into developing technologies that will help you be more efficient when you create games and then help you connect your games with an awesome audience when you’re ready for it.

This is a lot to take on as a company and building it right is going to take a huge effort. We keep our eyes out for the best talent and help wherever we feel we can use it at every level. That’s why today, I’m pleased to welcome John Riccitiello onto the Unity team as our new CEO. Sure, that sounds odd, as it also means I’m stepping down from the role, but this is an amazing win for Unity and the community.

He’s the right person to help guide the company to the mission that we set out for ourselves over a decade ago: democratize game development!

Many of you are likely familiar with John. He’s been in the games industry for a long time, both as COO and later CEO of Electronic Arts. He’s also helped fund and guide some notable startups like Oculus and Syntertainment among many others, and is a heartfelt believer in the indie scene and its importance to the overall well-being of the industry.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with John closely over the last year after I convinced him to join our board. It’s been a delight to see his passion for Unity and what we’re doing here grow as he got to know the Unity community better and better.

So, what does this mean for me? It means I get to get back to doing what I love the most about working at Unity: strategy, and connecting with developers. I will be heavily involved with the company’s direction, and will focus my efforts on finding the best ways to serve all of you amazing developers, all while working with some insanely talented people here at Unity.

What does this mean for Unity? Not too much, since John completely agrees with our vision and our strategy. If anything it means that we’ll be more focused than ever about making sure everyone has access to the best technology and services. We want all of you to have the best tools and opportunities, and we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen across the board.

So, welcome John to the Unity family! Great things are ahead!

Much love,

David

Comments (219)

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  1. Sam Anderson (yeah ok)

    December 6, 2014 at 12:22 am / 

    I’ve been a hardcore Unity user since the iOS App Store boom around 2010. I have a purchased Unity 3 Pro license(s). To this day, I am still avid with the Unity engine and have plans to upgrade to Unity 5 Pro when release.

    As for the news, I am a bit devastated. I cannot help but to correlate EA’s past failure with the future of Unity. I won’t get any more negative, I see the community has already voiced their opinion. Instead, I would like to make a testimonial on what I feel was the reason Unity became the eventual 3D game engine of choice:

    The top-notch free assets and free almost-AAA-caliber completed projects (Angry Bots, Boot Camp, Car Tutorial, Space Shooter, etc). Heading forward, maybe John can continue to grow what got Unity there in the first place, the top-notch FREE stuff. Maybe if John realizes that, then Unity can keep growing financially while he is at the helm..

  2. BeliarTheEvil

    November 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm / 

    The link on my signature:
    http://imgur.com/EYZBJOL

    1. Clonkex

      November 7, 2014 at 5:41 am / 

      lol :P

  3. Logan

    November 5, 2014 at 11:21 am / 

    Wait.. this is the same guy that caused a massive outcry against EA when he suggested players should pay a dollar for every reload?
    Admittedly that’s about all I know about him, I’ve so far managed to ignore EA since the days when they ripped Bullfrog Westwood and other great companies to shreds.
    But I actually thought that showing such a disconnect with the industry and customers had pushed him out of the industry.. o_0
    And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned for the future of unity.
    However, as I said, I know nothing else about you, it may simply have been a very bad hair day. At any rate, welcome to unity. A lot of us have invested many years of our lives into this family, so please try not to screw up, good luck.

    1. Clonkex

      November 6, 2014 at 12:51 am / 

      It is indeed the same guy. However, I like to think that if David chose John as the next CEO, he must pretty strongly believe John will be a good next step.

  4. sebastian

    November 1, 2014 at 10:39 pm / 

    I’m saddened and shocked to read this news! I always looked forward to the keynote videos from Unite. I’d tell my friends ‘watch this guy with the popped collar– he’s the next Steve Jobs!’ I think I can speak for a lot of us here, David, in saying that you and your team have tapped into something magical and very special with Unity. As a developer I always had complete faith that the geniuses in Copenhagen would steer the ship where I needed it to go and provide me with the tools I didn’t even know I needed.

    I’m definitely a little worried now with your departure, but I’ll take you at your word that you’ll stay involved. Mostly, though, thank you so much for such an amazing tool. A lot of people are still counting on you — so please don’t stray too far!! :)

    Very best wishes!
    Sebastian

  5. Philippe

    October 30, 2014 at 4:55 am / 

    RIPUnity…

    As sad as I am, I wanted to say thank you David for all the great years. I remember buying Unity Indie when it was Mac only. Since then I’ve only watched progress. You and your team have been awesome, you have everything to be proud of!

  6. BeliarTheEvil

    October 29, 2014 at 2:12 am / 

    There are no words to thank and praise David, but IMHO, this is a real bad move. I know you all will say I don’t know anything about running a business and that’s true, and possibly Unity will be even more successful in the long run from a financial standpoint, but I foresee the harsh days for us (devs) when Unity will no longer care about the devs and will only pursue profits no matter what. I’m not saying John is the problem or even part of it, but that fact shows that Unity grew beyond what is healthy manageable. I hope I’m wrong and I know I’m going to be crucified for posting my opinion, but time will tell if I’m just a lil’ crazy or if I’m more like a prophet hehe. Fact is, I’ve seen this movie a number of times, and the end is not good. I just hope something like UE4/5 gets closer to Unity by then (2D tools, smaller android apk, decent scripting, better workflow and files support).

  7. Zvonko Ilicic

    October 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm / 

    In my opinion this was never Mr. Helgason’s decision and I blame the board who is greedy and influenced by the new CEO. of course they are many things we all don’t like on our job’s but this here was your baby and no matter what , you would never give up the control if not pushed to do so. Wait and see a year from now we will read David joined his friend to make games and left the company. This concept of corporations and shareholder mentality is cancer for such a company like Unity and I think this being the rebel in the industry image and a voice for the Indie community made this the engine choice of so many here.
    This here is only my opinion I hope I’m wrong. However David can be proud what he and his two friends accomplished not only a great engine but hope , wealth for many here and a great community which was happy with the leadership before and not really is seen the need in change.
    All the best

  8. thylaxene

    October 27, 2014 at 5:49 am / 

    Being a Unity user since v1.0 I’m taking the sit back and watch approach. Yes I remember the “good” old days when we all knew each other in the forums and didn’t have to worry about all those noisy Windows users. But things changed, Unity is now a large company trying to solidify their positions at the top of the indie tool pile, with others biting at their heels.

    I will be watching with interest how U5 goes over the next few years. I love Unity as a tool, it earns me a very good income as a full-time Unity freelancer.

    I wish David and the new guy the best of luck and excited to see where we go from here!

    Now just get uGUI finished and released! ;-)

    Cheers.

    1. Clonkex

      October 27, 2014 at 10:04 am / 

      ?? How do you mean, “noisy Windows users”? Wait, was Unity not always available for Windows?

      1. Aras Pranckevičius

        October 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm / 

        No it wasn’t. Unity at first (~2005) was Mac-only, then added windows standalone/webplyer, but editor stayed Mac-only. It was only Unity 2.5 that added windows editor in 2009: http://blogs.unity3d.com/2009/03/20/unity-25-for-mac-and-windows-now-available/

        1. Clonkex

          November 1, 2014 at 2:59 am / 

          Huh, wow. Never would’ve thought…

    2. Clonkex

      October 27, 2014 at 10:06 am / 

      Also, for the record, I’m using the stable beta (4.6.0b20) and uGUI and both are performing beautifully! I’m absolutely loving uGUI (FINALLY a truly flexible and fast GUI system with in-editor editing!). Very good work on that, Unity team.

  9. Madmax

    October 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm / 

    I guess time will tell if this is good or bad. It good news in that it’s not Autodesk buying Unity. Autodesk just runs products into the ground.

    I have a bad feeling that Unity is going to get bought out at some point. What would Epic Games be without Tim Sweeney? I never go a crazy Tim Sweeney like vibe from unity which is probably required in the long run to stay Independent.

  10. Jimmy

    October 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm / 

    Thank you ,David. You really did a great job.Looking forward to the Unity future,I’m full of confidence.

  11. Chris

    October 26, 2014 at 12:18 am / 

    Not much to say except welcome John! If David trusts you with handling Unity then so do I. :)

  12. Isaiah Kelly

    October 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm / 

    For those worried about this move, I can completely understand. Change is scary, especially when it comes to leadership roles, but there’s no cause to abandon ship just yet! The news even made me a little concerned at first too, but I’m now cautiously optimistic and even a little excited about the improvements this change might bring to Unity in the future.

    If you’re not familiar with John Riccitiello then a highly recommend watching his interview on managing a technical company below from Mar 2014. He even mentions Unity around 20 minutes in. I think this video gives a very good impression of what kind of leadership we can expect from him at Unity. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to link to this video in the original blog post.

    http://youtu.be/3oZY_ubVaMs

  13. Danko Kozar

    October 25, 2014 at 11:52 am / 

    David,

    I sincerely hope you’re not forced into it! :(

    I hope it’s just because you want to spend more time with your kid (instead of traveling around the world), and I could understand that (not everyone is Steve Jobs).

    However, when I was watching the last Unite keynote, I cannot help feeling that something was not “as usual”. Your talk was not going smoothly, and you seemed under stress (there was even the F word).

    Now, someone mentioned Unity’s importance in different industries and its ubiquitous uses. It become so huge so it could have become a possible target for “takeover”. That’s why I think most of the people are concerned with this news, me included.

    As for the new CEO, I’m just concerned because you guys already had bad decisions – like the one with hiring Michael L. for doing the GUI, which (I believe) ultimately led to departure of Nicholas.

    I believe that you should have chosen someone from within Unity, being in your company for years. Or at least someone that could be called “a dreamer” (as you guys are).

    Wish you all the luck!

    1. Isaiah Kelly

      October 26, 2014 at 1:47 am / 

      Actually, David dropping an F-bomb during the Keynote was my favorite moment! :) But the ALS ice bucket challenge just made me think things had gone too far. Poor David. LOL

  14. ideveloper

    October 25, 2014 at 9:30 am / 

    Welcome, John Riccitiello and best wishes for you David Helgason
    .

  15. boomstick

    October 25, 2014 at 6:55 am / 

    For me, the saddest thing about this is that it all but confirms Unity’s forthcoming sale to some gigantic company, likely one with shareholders who don’t care about games. Greatness doesn’t survive such transitions with its soul intact. My usual optimism surrounding all things Unity has been heavily undermined.

    1. Clonkex

      October 25, 2014 at 8:26 am / 

      Confirms? I hardly think so. Have some faith in David’s decision.

      1. boomstick

        October 29, 2014 at 4:47 am / 

        Doubtful that it was fully David’s decision. Regardless, it’s still a good idea to begin thinking about other engine technologies and maybe even evaluating them for your purposes. At worst, you’ll have learned some new stuff and confirmed that Unity is the best option. At best, you’ll dodge a huge bullet when/if Unity is sold and dissected.

  16. Calixto

    October 25, 2014 at 3:29 am / 

    I’ve been teaching myself Unity for the past 2 years. I’ve watched every tutorial on the Unity Learn site and many, many other sites on the Internet. I’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in making Unity my prefered Game Engine and was getting ready to purchase the Unity Pro and Unity iOS applications ( a combined cost of of $3000).

    Now I’m a but concerned and apprehensive. As I saw it, David clearly was the guiding light for a team of hugely talented folks. His guidance and leadership has made Unity what it is today. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have anything negative to say about Mr. Riccitiello, on the contrary, I welcome him to Unity as I’m sure many others do as well. My only concern is how will his vision for Unity’s future impact my investment in time and effort for the past few years?

    That said, I would like to know Mr. Riccitiello’s vision for Unity? I understand that David champions his commitment to Unity, but we need to understand what we are to expect of Mr. Riccitiello. I certainly doubt its will be business as usual with no changes. So, before I plunge my hard earned and slowly saved $3000 into a marriage with Unity, I would like to hear some specifics of what Mr. Riccitiello plans for Unity – from Mr. Riccitiello himself. — I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Certainly we welcome Mr. Riccitiello, but we need to hear from him directly and I hope that will be in the – very – near future. Until then, welcome to our community. We sincerely hope you will be as happy here as we are!

    1. koblavi

      October 25, 2014 at 11:45 am / 

      I’m not too sure I understand your question to him. Unity has a solid vision and mission. His role as CEO is to execute on that, nothing more. Perhaps what you want to find out is what his execution plan his. I personally would like to see a blog post (possibly even a youtube video) from him talking about his new role and Unity’s Future.

      1. Calixto

        October 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm / 

        Koblavi, I never said “mission” – that was what you interpreted. However, a leader’s “vision” for a company is simply a “concept” that he or she would like to see carried out. As CEO John Riccitiello will have the ability to modify Unity to fit his own vision. Clearly you don’t believe that a CEO is powerless to steer a company in one direction or the other… if you do, you’ve never experienced the corporate world in real life. Without a doubt, Riccitiello will make changes. What those changes will be and – why – he believes those changes are needed (whether anyone agrees with him or not) remains to be seen, and therein lies my question…what is his “vision” for the company and how does he plan to modify Unity to fit his own vision of what Unity should be. Moreover, how does that affect us, who have invested our time into Unity. — I think in the end, you and I want the same thing…we want to hear from John Riccitiello, himself. What are your plans and what does he envision Unity becoming under your leadership. — Companies don’t change CEOs to remain the same. They change CEOs to move in new and possibly very different direction. I fear that the days of our friend, CEO David are over. What lies ahead remains to be seen and how that will affect us is what concerns me.

  17. I hope Unity Survives

    October 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm / 

    I love Unity.

    I hope that John doesn’t throw our Love away.

    Thank you David. <3

  18. Michael Chugg

    October 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm / 

    I really appreciate how open and responsive David is being to this post. I’ve been a Unity Dev since 2.x and although I feel like there are still tons of things Unity needs to improve, Unity has seen tons of improvements. I personally feel that Unity is only going to get better with time. I was stoked when the new 2d tools came out in 4.3 and I love the new GUI tools in the 4.6 beta. I’m excited for when they hit release. I believe you are making this move David so you can do more of what you love and I approve. Keep doing what you love David, that’s the only way to live. That’s why I make games ~ `cause I love it!

    Side note to John: I have high expectations of you – Unity3d is an incredible tool. Don’t stress it too much though. Learn the company values and care about who you serve and you will do a great job.

  19. Linus Ahlemeyer

    October 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm / 

    I think this is great! Unity gets fresh wind under its wings, while the overall strategy which we all got accustomed to stays the same. This is the best outcome out of all which was possible to become from those “for-sale-rumors”. Congratulations John & David!

  20. Addicted to Unity

    October 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm / 

    Interesting to see in what short time this non technical blog entry gains so many comments!
    And good to see that David takes care every day to answer multiple questions.

    Maybe the Unity-Team is able to share it’s spirit with John so he will improve into that direction and not the other way round. (Hopefully he will not leave soon the next years and takes this spirit / ideas away to another company).

    Best wishes for a wonderful future!

  21. Xavier

    October 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm / 

    I’m not a big fan of John, but I think we must give him the benefit of the doubt. David said he will keep an eye on him, which is soothing.

    So welcome John, and please, please, don’t destroy Unity. It’s a fantastic tool that everyone interested in game development should try. Let it grow. Please.

  22. Ritchie

    October 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm / 

    Dear John,

    I didn’t always agree with you, but that’s in the past. The reality is that you know like no other how the game industry works, and hopefully also how game development works. You can help us grow to new levels. Give us better tools, invest in research and new technologies, and overall develop Unity to higher levels. I think that being CEO of such an important tool for the indie game industry may also help you develop into a better person (business wise, not personally); I think indie gaming will shift your perspective more to gaming, rather than being a good sales man. There will be growth on both sides, and I see no harm in that.

    Welcome on board, and let us know what your plans are. And David, I find it courageous to “give” your company to someone else. I’d be dead nervous to see my company led by someone else and probably get all Bill Gates-y over Steve Ballmer. Do you think it’ll be easier for you? Good luck in your new role!

    1. David Helgason

      October 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm / 

      Thanks for the kind words. I know my life will be easier, since it’s exceedingly heavy lifting being the CEO of a complex company such as Unity. I would worry a lot if I didn’t know John really well, and have so much faith in him, and enjoy working with him, but I do and so feel very good right now (48 hours into my new role).

      Feel free to ask again in a month or two, but do it on twitter since I’ll probably tire of monitoring the comments here eventually :)

      1. Clonkex

        October 25, 2014 at 8:25 am / 

        Well said!

  23. Clonkex

    October 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm / 

    Wow, what a change! I have to admit when I first read this I was a little (ok, a lot) worried about having the (ex-)CEO of EA having anything to do with Unity (because from a gamer’s perspective, EA is our arch enemy), but having read all the comments from both David and John, I’m not so sure this will be as terrible as most of us assume.

    For now, I’m going to just make the assumption that David wouldn’t be so enthusiastic about John being CEO if he didn’t firmly believe John was an excellent choice. I have an inkling that it’ll all be juuust fine.

    Cheers for all the hard work you’ve put into this amazing project over the years, David! I owe you a pint or two!

    John, I’ve got my eye on you; I expect you to do even greater things with Unity than David has. Don’t disappoint me!

  24. Justin Heasman

    October 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm / 

    Thank you David for all your work over the years. Unity is what brought back my love for development and we have some very big projects on the horizon both gaming and serious gaming thanks to you and the unity team. All the best for your future endeavors. Justin.

  25. Laurent Tournier

    October 24, 2014 at 11:32 am / 

    Hello David,

    Congrats to you for you great job. Being a customer since 2007, I can appreciate all what you did as a CEO.
    Specially I cannot forget that you answered personally to a question just the day before a Unite event.
    I think you’re unique in the world as a CEO that takes time to answer to customers on a very very busy day.
    Continue, Unity is the greatest tool I ever work with.

    1. David Helgason

      October 24, 2014 at 11:35 am / 

      Thanks for the kind words, Laurent, and I hope to keep in touch even more now.

  26. Max

    October 24, 2014 at 7:34 am / 

    Noooooooooo!
    David, I hope you’ll keep doing keynotes at Unite and all the cool stuff I loved you for.

    1. David Helgason

      October 24, 2014 at 11:35 am / 

      That is my plan, I wouldn’t miss those things for anything.

  27. Leon

    October 24, 2014 at 2:16 am / 

    First time I’ve approached Unity was one and half year ago. I liked the platform and decided to invest 500$ for a basic ios add-on licence, right 24 hours before you decided to give it away for free and both for ios and android. All I got, it was a discount for future purchases rather than a refund and I felt I haven’t been treated fairly in that occasion. I was so upset that I left Unity for a long time until, 2 weeks ago I decided to give Unity a second chance and purchase a pro version. Unfortunately, I find out that my discount voucher was not at my disposal anymore unless to deal with my account manager who doesn’t even replay to my emails. You really, i mean REALLY need to rework the pricIng and sales strategy, otherwise you will find very hard to keep up with competition. You should treat every paying customers as a shareholder and remove any barriers that prevent your customers to complete a purchase.

    1. David Helgason

      October 24, 2014 at 11:36 am / 

      I am *so* sorry about that bad experience of yours. Can you ping me by email (my first name @ unity3d.com) or on twitter?

      1. Leon

        October 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm / 

        Much appreciated… I’m going to write you straight away

  28. Stepan

    October 24, 2014 at 2:14 am / 

    Hi David, first of all i want to say thank you for your passion and hard work on Unity to bring to us really good instrument for creative minds. But i’m really worry about web player’s future for now. In the beginning of our project (https://www.facebook.com/cyclopgame) we chose Unity for possibility to play in browser, and our main goal was to bring really AAA quality to browser-based games. For now we are sad about Chrome and FF. Did you tried to solve this problem with Google or make a port to new API? Is there any chance to bring back Unity to this browsers in near future? Thank you

  29. John Winski

    October 24, 2014 at 1:48 am / 

    I am really interested to see what John can do for Unity. There is much that he tried to do for EA and some of it succeeded in making things a little better. I currently use Unity to teach students and have faith that things can get better when you have someone passionate about games and technology. Negative comments don’t do anything to help a situation.

  30. Dave

    October 24, 2014 at 12:53 am / 

    I was a long time fan of EA. They were my reason to get into game developing in the first place. Then John Riccitiello became CEO of it. SimCity was the final straw, and I decided to ditch EA. Riccitiello at the same time resigned/got pushed out of EA. Oh what an irony to see our paths cross again. This better be good.

    It’s one thing to disagree with the way a person leads his company. It’s a complete other thing to disagree with the same person who is in a position to decide how I lead my company. Riccitiello, I’ll give you the benefit of doubt but you’ll have to prove yourself. Unity is about helping developers, not about sales or making as much money as you can. Remember that. Helgason, I wish you all the best in your new role.

  31. Sergio

    October 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm / 

    Unity for education is good value! We’ve used it in our courses since 2.5 and we are a small college.
    Recent offer of one bulk discount price for an all inclusive package is great, and the regional office engagement is very personal, they got involved with the nuances of billing in the cumbersome Irish education system for a pittance!
    Other engines are playing catch up, all welcome if it cuts the price down, but I don’t think a monthly fee to update is welcome in educational payments system.
    Hope this level of connection won’t change with the new CEO.
    Still remember discussing EA spouse with students, not a happy day!

    I do have to agree that 4.6 is way late, but there is nothing better than Unity 4.5 out there for cross platform 3D game design in education so:

    Thanks David and Unity, u make my job a breeze, good luck with new endeavours; welcome John, and good luck with the tough new job.

    Can’t resist as HCI for games is one of my modules. “is the new … out yet? ”

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm / 

      Glad you enjoyed interacting with our people, and no, there’s no plan to make things less good! Btw. John was the CEO who addressed the EA Spouse situation, not created it.

  32. CJLopez

    October 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm / 

    Just one thing David, don’t let him cut Nintendo console support off Unity

    Its one of the most awesome features I love about Unity, and having Jhon “WiiU is not a next gen console” Riccittelo over, I really fear he will mend into and cut Nintendo consoles support off Unity

    1. David Helgason

      October 24, 2014 at 12:12 am / 

      We’re totally committed to the partnership with Nintendo, and no one wants to change that.

  33. ImaginaryHuman

    October 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm / 

    I wonder if this could possibly suggest that Unity might become more involved as a game publisher in future, beyond just the small Unity Games offshoot? This seems like a bit of a missing piece of the puzzle, and while Unity has in the past been more of a tools company, it seems the branching out into marketing and cloud and so on sort of naturally may lead to helping people be successful by actively publishing and promoting titles? I think that’d be a good move.

  34. ZJP

    October 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm / 

    David Helgason talking about John Riccitiello remind me Steve Jobs talking about John Sculley.
    Good Luck.

    1. James Griggs

      October 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm / 

      Yep, I’m scared. I better make use of Unity now before it goes away.

  35. TheWolf

    October 23, 2014 at 6:34 pm / 

    Dear David, you did a good job at driving this company from nothing to a major technology breakthrough. You and you friends, co-founders of the company can be proud.

    “Someone” probably convinced you that it was in the best interest of the company, they always do that, anyway it was planed for a long time, without you knowing it I guess.

    However you might remember that I explained what is happening now about 1 year ago in a raw douchebaggery email.

    Unity cannot be a technology from a small country in the North of Europe, it has to be an American company and you gave them like a pancake in the mouth. Unity can drive drones, do military simulations… it is interesting for people way above what most can imagine here.

    So whoever will raise the capital of Unity, driven by John, they will have to do a dirty job, and I am sure you do not want to see that as a CEO.

    That was a great pleasure to follow Unity from 2 to version 5. Kudos to all the talented people who participated.

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm / 

      You here, mr. Asset Store pirate? Please take your malice, and your crimes, elsewhere.

  36. Chris Hammond

    October 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm / 

    During John Riccitiello’s time as CEO of EA, EA was voted the worst company in America. How is this good for Unity? He completely ruined EA with pay to win and now you want to let him into Unity? What is he going to push for payment API’s to let devs start inserting microtransactions? Is he going to start screwing over indiedevs im some nefarious way?

    Honestly this news today put a huge cloud over my project to the point that I wish we never chose Unity Engine to begin with. I’ve spent the past year developing with Unity and reading this news make me want to vomit with fear.

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm / 

      Don’t panic. Does it help if I tell you that John *agrees* with what is great about Unity, and intends to help us make it better? That I’m staying fully engaged helping out too? I really hope you can recover from your worries, at least long enough to finish your game…

      1. James Griggs

        October 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm / 

        Thanks David, but it really makes a lot of people scared. Please stay engaged.

  37. Marty Plumbo

    October 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm / 

    Super-win!

    As far as I’m concerned, the best thing in the world for our beloved Unity is David Helgason spending more time closer to the trenches.

    Congratulations on your decision to spend more time doing what you love, David!

  38. Breyer

    October 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm / 

    I hope David that u will have more fun with more specialized job ;) According to news – im neutral due to bad memories with ea but i keep in mind that unity!=ea in aspect of organisation and industry ( game engine and services related to build game vs gaming)

  39. Seph

    October 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm / 

    I’m excited to see how John will take the company to the next level (I suspect a larger push beyond games into the visualisation industry) and it is great news that David will still be very much involved with keeping the open developer communication to unity.

    One thing that Unity really needs to do is address concerns about licensing. Either a middle tier between free and pro or floating network licenses. I’m trying to convince my company to adopt Unity across the board and the licensing costs as they stand currently are just too high for them to want to consider.

  40. Nicholas Ventimiglia

    October 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm / 

    Some quick suggestions for John and David.

    Unity needs a cloud services platform like Parse, Azure or MMOFoundation.com

    Such a service platform could be very profitable for unity as well as accelerate the development of high quality social games.

  41. DrD

    October 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm / 

    Just one favour :) don’t get listed! Stay private!

  42. Ketjak

    October 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm / 

    Marketing is everything.

    Nobody does it like Sara Lee.

    Under JR as President/COO, EA.COM was mismanaged and shut down.

    Under JR as CEO, EA overpaid for JR’s investment company Pandemic/BioWare, Pandemic was riddled with coke-heads from the top down and BioWare was working on a soon-to-fail MMO… under JR.

    He claims to be responsible for the successes, but not the failures? The perpetual mismanagement of online game launches under a guy who “believes in” online games? The horror that he allowed to be developed by his pet execs called “Origin?”

    It was under JR-as-COO that the game industry started using the phrase “got EA’d” to describe the perpetual cycle of layoffs now considered common practice in the industry. It was under JR that developers learned to live in fear of the end of the project, and not just because of the incredible crunch.

    Soon, the needs of the marketing campaign for Unity will outweigh the needs of the users, and that primarily for investors as “the board” looks for opportunities to sell Unity-the-company for a big sum… That JR will profit from disproportionately.

    Gird yourselves, Unity employees.

  43. koblavi

    October 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm / 

    In Ghana we have this expression that carries more weight than just a ‘Wow’ and I think it’s most appropriate for the news….

    What a WOW?!
    It is Hard to think of Unity without David as the CEO. It’s even easier to think of Facebook without Mark. Google without Eric. Apple without Steve.

    But I have, more than once, thought about Unity Tech’s rapid growth, it’s mission & David’s role in tying it all together. I always came to two conclusions: Either a sale or a change in leadership. I definitely agreed that David should be the chief strategist, not the CEO. Not sure about the man chosen for the Job though. But we’ve trusted David to bring Unity this far. We must trust him to leave it in safe hands.

  44. Jed Fisher

    October 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm / 

    Major news – Congratulations David for all the great work you and the Unity team have done so far over the last ~10 years. You and the team have done some incredible things. You’ve grown the company from the 25 people i first met in Copenhagen to the most impactful force for games development and creative work. You’ve enabled and inspired millions. Incredibly impressive to watch. Well done David, well done Unity – i look forward to seeing you go even further now with John also on board. Congrats John, welcome aboard.
    Best regards.

  45. Emil "AngryAnt" Johansen

    October 23, 2014 at 11:59 am / 

    With Johns background in founding Elevation Partners, it is obvious to me that Unity will soon be bought by U2.

    I for one find this to be a slippery slope.

  46. Alewx

    October 23, 2014 at 11:32 am / 

    It is quite a big step indeed, but I’m suspicious of John the man that made the worst company of the USA twice in a row.

    I’m happy for you David that you can return to the work that you love the most. But I fear the new man as he has a reputation in the gaming community that is below the ground.
    It is really nice to see that you are taking care of the community and are aware of the mixed feelings about this, but you can barley convince the community, that has to be done by John himself, and that is a hell of a task.

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm / 

      The story of John at EA is a lot more nuanced than what the internets hold, and the people who were close to him there loved working with him and think very highly of him. But more importantly, he’s now working with us, and has ~499 colleagues who care too much about Unity to want to change things for the worse in any way.

      1. Alewx

        October 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm / 

        I really believe you, and working with Unity is great, I really like it and wish I could use it in my current job.
        Also I really really don’t wish you anything bad, but best intentions often result in worst endings, but I hope for the best.

      2. Seph

        October 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm / 

        There’s a very good interview with John just after he left EA and it’s worthy read for anyone who has concerns about his appointment within Unity.

        1. Alewx

          October 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm / 

          Could you give a link for it, please.

        2. Alewx

          October 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm / 

          Thanks, quite interesting, some things he said are opposite of what he said during EA…
          So I’m still not sure, what to think about him.

  47. Александр

    October 23, 2014 at 11:15 am / 

    А я на русском. )
    бывший CEO ЕА, давай асет футбол)

  48. Cristian

    October 23, 2014 at 10:58 am / 

    That is a great news! Great time heads..! I really hope so! I hope Unity will continue to be the leading platform for Indie and small team developers. I think there is no need to worry right David!?

    1. David Helgason

      October 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm / 

      Not that I’m aware of.

  49. aldrin del rosario

    October 23, 2014 at 10:41 am / 

    Hi, David.. Thanks for bringing unity this far.
    Hope the new CEO will do the same.

  50. Martijn

    October 23, 2014 at 10:31 am / 

    I to will be missing the popped collar :) But welcome to John! best luck to you both in your new roles!

  51. Alexandre.B

    October 23, 2014 at 10:02 am / 

    CEO of Electronic arts … wow that is really weird, the vision of those 2 compagnies are so different. I hate EA so much for what they do with the game industry, it is miles away from what Unity is.

    1. Alexandre.B

      October 23, 2014 at 10:04 am / 

      In app purchase for bug fixes coming soon. Stay stunned

  52. Aleander Blanco

    October 23, 2014 at 9:47 am / 

    This is quite the surprise for me. Is John Riccitiello going to make a post soon? What kinds of plans does he as as CEO?

  53. Alex Blaikie

    October 23, 2014 at 8:08 am / 

    Welcome John, and thanks David for taking Unity to where it is now. Thanks for taking the time to respond to some comments as well – it really is great to see.

  54. Stefan Hollekamp

    October 23, 2014 at 7:25 am / 

    puhhh congrats but now i fear that it becomes EA 2 with their f….k policies and price thing….
    It’s to me like Steve Job’s is leaving and Scully is coming….
    don#t know but progress is really slow @ Unity the last years… like the new GUI System… announced in A’Dam 2012… still not arrived only as beta with too many bugs… or the latest Unity3D Versions…. full of Bug’s on the iOS side… and i ask me always why why why??? Why do they put out 4.5.5 that has so many bugs and doesn’t work right with iPhone 6… now they try to address the issues with Patches P1 & P2 should adress those issues but there are still enough that stop us from shipping!!! Losing Money every day…. :-(
    I’m not so Happy with Unity the last 2 Years… and now ea a Company that i don’t like jumps in….

    is this now the end from Unity??????

    don’t get me wrong but i’m a Unity Artist since the beginning when it only was available on Mac!!!

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 9:32 am / 

      Long time no talk, Stefan. I’m very sorry about the GUI system taking a long time to deliver, but I hope you enjoy it now that it’s in your hands. I’m also sorry if bugs are preventing you from shipping, and we need to address those (however please notice that thousands of other games do get launched without bad bugs, but different productions hit different problems).

      To your other question: no this is not the end. John is neither going to implement an EA strategy or an Oculus strategy or a Pepsi strategy. He’s here to execute a Unity strategy, which he’s a huge believer in and has been part of shaping in the last year since I asked him to join our board.

      Hope to have you around for many more years.

      1. Siji

        October 23, 2014 at 10:26 am / 

        He comes from EA, nothing from EA is good for indies

        his company destroyed the gaming industry

        1. TB

          October 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm / 

          Destroyed the gaming industry? Did you see the latest statistics? The gaming industry is taking off like crazy, far from being destroy… No need to be over dramatic.

      2. Anthony Madden

        October 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm / 

        I was able to ship my game to Android and windows phone with the new 4.6 GUI system without any bugs whatsoever. And I am a user since the beginning as well :)
        #UnityVet

        1. David Helgason

          October 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm / 

          Awesome!

  55. R

    October 23, 2014 at 6:52 am / 

    Now that you’re CEO, what are your first steps, John?

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 9:45 am / 

      Since John’s sleeping right now, I can answer for him: he is going to travel to visit several of our offices, and simply soak in the culture, the people, all the projects and ideas and opinions and dreams that Unity consists of, and not make any major decisions before he’s thoroughly versed in Unity. That will take more than a couple of weeks :)

  56. Jim Thomson

    October 23, 2014 at 5:01 am / 

    You have built an incredible community. A few years ago you personally answered a question I posted in Twitter. That really showed how dedicated Unity staff are to helping people get started. Thanks and looking forward to whatever else you’ve got brewing!

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 9:47 am / 

      Thanks for the trust, and happy that I could be of help. It’s frustrating to see all the people who won’t give us the benefit of the doubt and pounce on some bad memories of things that happened at EA while John was there, but the proof is in the pudding, and we think we know what we are doing here :)

      1. Michael

        October 23, 2014 at 11:25 am / 

        “It’s frustrating to see all the people who won’t give us the benefit of the doubt and pounce on some bad memories of things that happened at EA while John was there”

        EA is like an ongoing train wreck in the gaming world. They have scarred the gaming community deeply and everyone involved with them will have to prove themselves big time before they regain anyone’s trust.

      2. David Mitchell

        October 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm / 

        Keep the faith :)

  57. JJ

    October 23, 2014 at 4:39 am / 

    Interesting news, best of luck to you David, you really have succeeded in your goal of democratizing game development, I think many of us are living proof of what you and the rest of the Unity team have accomplished. You’ve not only changed the industry but the lives of thousands of people who were able to use this amazing tool as a creative outlet.

    I don’t believe that David would ever put the company or vision in jeopardy, so hopefully things will work out with John. Like the captain of a ship, a CEO that takes responsibility for the conduct of their employees, their business practices and results is a true leader.

  58. FDJustin

    October 23, 2014 at 3:57 am / 

    What people are afraid of, is UT adopting EA policies. They don’t know who the policy makers are or how corporate culture develops (same with me), so they look at the figurehead and assume it must be their doing.

    Basically, they have a kneejerk fear reaction of UT turning into Dungeon Keeper 3.

    If you can address that fear, in theory it should go a long way to get people to put away their old warn out end of the world signs and go back to business as usual.

  59. Benjamin Church

    October 23, 2014 at 3:55 am / 

    Unreal4 is more affordable for my students. So i hope this change will represent a better price for future development. Unity has a lot to offer but on this market it’s cons go way higher on my perspective.

    1. Amit

      October 23, 2014 at 8:53 am / 

      I agree, most of our branches are picking unreal because of its cost. As a school or university the price of buying/keeping the license matters. Which in return affects what students learn and pay for professionally when they graduate.

      In other words, Unity does need a better strategy to penetrate the educational market because right now Unreal is winning the future indie developers to come.

      1. David Helgason

        October 23, 2014 at 9:49 am / 

        Your points are taken, it’s sad to lose the students just because of this.

  60. Jim Preston

    October 23, 2014 at 3:39 am / 

    David, I’m sure you will have more fun now and great news for you. I’m having a little gut reaction remembering the Jobs / Scully setup but your arrangement should work.

    Pitch: While you are dumping Boo please consider Python to replace it. Or Swift. They are both moving up the language preference ladder and it would open up Unity to many more devs outside of the gamers.

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 9:51 am / 

      I’d mention the Steve/Tim Cook collaboration as a counterexample, but I think both are pretty bad pictures of how John and I work together, so I won’t… or oh, duh :)

  61. Gary Haus

    October 23, 2014 at 2:54 am / 

    Best of luck in the transition! I have been using Unity since pretty much the beginning. Can’t wait to see what you guys continue to do!

    Gary Haus

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 9:51 am / 

      Hey Gary :)

  62. GXMark

    October 23, 2014 at 2:33 am / 

    As an Indie licensed holder of Unity for a few years now I would like to say welcome! Although I have never met David i feel that i have lived the journey with him. Every keynote speech every article every dream about building my RPG game was motivated by knowing that the cult of Unity was different to the other games companies for the good. Think of david as a beacon for us Indie’s and like they do in the olympics just receive the torch and keep the flame alive.

    Now get that unity 5 out to release !!

  63. BoMbY

    October 23, 2014 at 1:19 am / 

    John Riccitiello made EA the Worst Company in America. And now he’s going to ruin Unity?

    1. David Helgason

      October 23, 2014 at 9:52 am / 

      No, I won’t let him.

      1. Thomas Salisbury

        October 23, 2014 at 10:11 pm / 

        David, I have to say, that’s an interesting response. You could have said, “No I believe in John, and feel very strongly about what he will do for Unity”, or “John is going to be a great asset to Unity, and will guide us into the future”, or “anything positive about John”, instead you chose, “I won’t let him”. I believe that says a TON about the ex-CEO of EA… The same EA, that not a single person in the game industry likes… That should tell you everything you need to know about John.. The same EA that brought the consumer the $60+ PC game.. Well done!

        1. David Helgason

          October 24, 2014 at 12:14 am / 

          But that’s what the blog post was about.

        2. Thomas Salisbury

          October 24, 2014 at 12:19 am / 

          What I took from this blog post, was you want to go back to the fun stuff, and the John basically isn’t really going to do anything.. You actually said he isn’t going to change a single thing. (which I thought was the point of hiring a new CEO). Why then not make your COO, or CTO the new CEO?

        3. David Helgason

          October 24, 2014 at 12:24 am / 

          There’s a lot more to running a company than strategic changes: managing the different leaders, making sure that budgets are allocated well, deliverables followed up on, keeping information flowing internally, and a hundred other things. Anyway, please just give us time and judge us on what we do together, and not on a (mangled version) of the story of one of John’s previous jobs.

        4. Thomas Salisbury

          October 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm / 

          I will definitely give Unity the chance(and John). I am not going anywhere for now. I am only voicing my concerns. Thank you David for taking the time to humor me.

  64. Robert Kabwe

    October 23, 2014 at 1:12 am / 

    Thank you for bringing us this far. Unity was the first Game Engine that removed the rough edges, fired my imagination, and made me feel like an individual developer could actually build something (and we did!). I’m grateful for that, and I hope Unity continues to be as special in the future as it is today.

  65. Sean

    October 23, 2014 at 1:04 am / 

    Hi John,

    All the best at Unity. I hope you settle in to your (more active) role nicely, and we keep seeing great things from Unity going forward!

    Sincerely,
    A Unity Indie Developer.

  66. CodeMonkey

    October 23, 2014 at 1:00 am / 

    @John R. and David H.
    Don’t listen to those stupid kids winging about EA this or that.
    John is a guy that knows how to keep a company a float and healthy. He knows the business and how to put Unity into the next level.
    Just to remember, we are game developers, not gamers.
    Welcome aboard John, glad to have you as our most used game engine in the planet CEO! ;)

    1. Thomas Salisbury

      October 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm / 

      And that is why games are failing. ^ I am a developer and you WILL play and love MY GAME!…… News flash, consumers what to play games they like to play, not what “developers, not Gamers” force on the market.

  67. Dominique Boutin (aka Dom)

    October 23, 2014 at 12:56 am / 

    Thanks for awesome you and the team did so far. While others were just talking about democratisation, you guys actually believed and lived it and thus changed the industry!

  68. Valentin

    October 23, 2014 at 12:49 am / 

    I trust David in his decisions and welcome John to the Unity community.
    Sooo, now David can spend his time exclusively on bringing Tom Higgins back, right?
    please… those were the times…
    #Unity6FeatureRequest : /

  69. Wes

    October 23, 2014 at 12:48 am / 

    I demand that he adopt your wardrobe, at least when/if speaking at Unite, or I’ll start using UE4. ;)

    1. Aleander Blanco

      October 23, 2014 at 9:57 am / 

      I will be severely disappointed if John doesnt sport a popped collar for his opening speech at the next unity unite conference.

  70. Andy Martin

    October 23, 2014 at 12:38 am / 

    David, I’ve very much enjoyed seeing you at the Unite Conference the past 2 years. I understand the needs to focus on the Engine and Developers instead of the heavy burden of CEO. Best of luck in all of this. I hope that this means the engine will continue to get better and remain more consistent. The Avatar system changes quite often and ultimately makes me feel like for every step I take forward, there is a half step backwards.

    I’m sticking with Unity because I believe in the company and in you.

  71. Jeremy Anderson

    October 23, 2014 at 12:37 am / 

    David, thank you for everything over the years. I still have an e-mail from you personally activating my first Unity license back in the OTEE days. You’ve built a killer product that has really been driving my work forward.

    John, welcome aboard, and thank you as well. Many of the games from when you first started at Electronic Arts back in the late 80’s were the reason I got interested in programming to begin with. Seeing you involved in my engine of choice is a great thing….now if only we can get Mark Cerny here….

    1. Jeremy Anderson

      October 23, 2014 at 12:39 am / 

      Doh! I meant to say 90’s….although Marble Madness in the arcades is one of my first favorite game memories.

  72. John Riccitiello

    October 23, 2014 at 12:25 am / 

    Last entry for the moment. I guess i understand some of the negative comments here. I’ll admit, were i an indie developer, i might have the same negative worries. My hope in time is the earn your trust in the way David did. I know i am stepping into a very important role with Unity, with David and the entire Unity team. I will do my best and i am sure you will all remind me when i seem to fall short of that mark.

    1. schmosef

      October 23, 2014 at 1:07 am / 

      John, you’ve had an incredible career to date.

      As Unity’s competition gets fiercer and the technology behind game development gets more complicated, having someone with your experience and industry clout at the helm can only be of great benefit.

    2. Breno Azevedo

      October 23, 2014 at 1:09 am / 

      Congratulations on the new position John! Having worked within EA LA I know how little of what actually happens or how things actually are go mainstream. The thing is that the entire Unity ecosystem is a dream we all treasure so people tend to get defensive. Nevertheless I’m sure that besides your well-regarded professionalism you’re already aware that Unity’s spirit must be kept alive above all. After some time people will relax and start backing you up, be sure of that :) Best of luck!

    3. Mehran

      October 23, 2014 at 2:13 am / 

      John this is so good you wrote your message here. We trust both of you. I beleive this change in the top level of management of the best game engine company of the world is happenned only for improvements and progress. I wish more success for you and all Unity team and I hope to see the final version of Unity 4.6 and 5 out very soon.

    4. Amit

      October 23, 2014 at 8:58 am / 

      The best feedback as a game developer and teacher I can give right now is to make a better model to penetrate the future indie developers market. Which is the students studying game development right now. Which means a better offer to Educational Institute. The offer I recieved compared to free unreal license doesn’t help when telling board members to invest money in 50 licenses.

      So in my opinion and prediction Unity needs to prepare a Educational strategy to get, keep and build future developers through the Universities around the world. Most of our branches have picked Unreal and because of the cost vs free, it goes without saying the people with money are going to support Unreal.

      Hopefully, you see the importance of winning the educational market?

    5. David Mitchell

      October 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm / 

      Just want to say welcome and good luck. It’s understandable that some people will feel nervous about changes, it’s quite natural. But hopefully things will settle down soon. I’m sure you and David will make a good team.

    6. David

      October 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm / 

      Congrats! I’m not qualified to give advice, but if I was, I’d say, focus on unity’s long term, which also means don’t be afraid of getting fired. Do this for the love of the game, not because those around you want more money – David wants more time, not 10 new strategies on how to increase revenue. Invest in Unity’s faithful followers. It costs way more to get new customers than to keep old ones. If you deliver high quality behind schedule in this industry, it’s much better than okay and on time. Also, I think Unity’s future is in making game creation simpler. And I think Unity is the best positioned engine for mobile games. Just my thoughts. :)

  73. paulo

    October 23, 2014 at 12:16 am / 

    welcome John:)

  74. LeadingUnityIntoTheGarbage

    October 23, 2014 at 12:11 am / 

    And I was just about to buy Pro for all platforms. That was close! All these reassurances sound like the same patronizing BS one frequently hears from companies like EA and Activision. We care about YOU! Build games YOUR way! Add scripting support for only $199 and take your games to the next level! No thanks. What a disappointment.

  75. Emil "AngryAnt" Johansen

    October 23, 2014 at 12:10 am / 

    Interesting times ahead :)

  76. Brian McMahon

    October 23, 2014 at 12:07 am / 

    Investor perspective: John is a great addition to Unity and I see good things ahead for the bottom line as he makes decisive decisions.

    Developer perspective: John is a scary addition to Unity because there has been much hay made over the cost/licensing over the past several months. Bracing for a decisive change.

  77. Brett M

    October 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm / 

    This is a big appointment. Welcome!

  78. Arnaud Couturier

    October 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm / 

    I don’t know anything at all about John Riccitiello, but the simple view in the article of the two letters EA made me instantly very very worried :(

    I wish I was optimistic, but I’m not: I see Unity becoming a premium, cloud-only product, just because “It’s good for users”, with the price being “Please contact sales services”.

    I hope at least big competitors like UE4 will keep greediness under a little bit of control.

    Please David, stay around, we never know…

  79. h.grenade

    October 22, 2014 at 11:42 pm / 

    I think this is great news for David, for Unity and for indies. It is naive to blame JR for all of EA’s greed. It is a huge company with tons of people in charge. I have read a lot of the interviews and it always seamed like JR got the short end of the stick. Keep in mind he cannot say anything negative about EA if he wants to get a job at any other company. I thought he has handled it all very smoothly.

    Still a fan : )

  80. Jashan Chittesh

    October 22, 2014 at 11:39 pm / 

    Wow, that’s fairly interesting news. I trust you David, and when you trust John, I guess I’ll trust him ;-)

    I just hope that some day, Nicholas will be satisfied with creating games and return to join you guys in engine development.

    That said: A warm welcome to John and good luck in your new role. These are incredibly exciting times!!!

  81. John Thorman

    October 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm / 

    Hopefully you guys lower the cost of licenses. Else you Unity will die.
    I enjoy unity but due to its price i prefer to venture into unreal4.
    Any thoughts o competing against Unreal4? If so, be quick or you will be the next Blackberry.

  82. Fernando Zapata

    October 22, 2014 at 11:35 pm / 

    David you have done such a wonderful job as CEO of Unity that it will take some time for me to get used to the idea of anyone else as the CEO. I would be very concerned if you were leaving the company, but I’m confident that you wouldn’t have chosen John if you didn’t think it was the best for Unity and the community. I’m looking forward to seeing you in your new role :). Thanks for everything you have done for us! Welcome aboard John.

  83. TornadoTwins

    October 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm / 

    David Helgason has been our friend and indie-supporter since 2008. Every time I thought he’d be too busy, he got back to us, even whilst traveling.
    Every decision he’s made was smarter than I thought with more knowledge than I had.
    I welcome his keen decision making and would love to welcome John aboard!

    Unity is my fav company and I can’t wait to see what the future will hold. I’m very positive and very excited.

    -TornadoTwins (Efraim)

  84. John Riccitiello

    October 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm / 

    Hey — This is John Riccitiello. Have to admit — a bit nervous to post on this blog given some of what I have read so far. Two things i would like to say… First, I think there is far more to the EA story than what has been posted here so far, and i am sure the company is way better off when i left than when i arrived. But, in any case, this forum is about Unity, not EA. Second, I think Unity is an amazing company, and i strongly believe in the mission that Joachim, David and Nicholas created, to democratize game development. Inspiring. I hope and plan to live up to everything implied in the democratizing game development idea.

    The newbie here, John

    1. David

      October 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm / 

      The first half of your first comment on this news was to defend EA. Unity came second. I know a technical rhetorician and she can be hired if need be.

      Mr. Riccitiello,

      People here are concerned because Unity is everything Crytek and Unreal is not: burdened by industry shackles. When this news was announced I had just finished telling my wife how exciting it was to see Side Effects, Algorithmic and Unity looking poised to collapse into a bright and tightly inter-operable pipeline for end to end authoring without any of the companies involved being burdened with the foreign matter of “The Industry” as we know it today. At least not to the degree the others are. When this news was announced I had the “Uh-Oh” moment I had when FB bought Occulus and I felt embarrassed of my naivete that Unity would escape the meat-grinder of the corporate model where suits run around and say things like, Core Competency, Buy-In, Move the Needle, Think Outside the Box, Vertical Something Something and the ever inventive use of “Synergize” all of which is bullshit because it means nothing.

      I do not want to see Unity shares trading in the open because Unity will then be beholden and nailed down to the bottom line of some majority stake-holder who doesn’t really like video games and not ever reaching for the top rung as Unity is now doing with it’s community intact, in love and in tow. For once, try and understand how much we need the engine more than we need the cash. Unity got here without that. Try and remember.

      I do not want to see a rash of M&A’s to satisfy some ridiculous and arbitrary “Leveraged Growth Model” (or whatever the newest JD/MBA word of the day is) where critical mass is passed well before realizing the novel behemoth is out of balance and comes crashing down shedding jobs like blood and ingested studios like bones. This isn’t going to help anyone and certainly not me. Why is ‘me’ important? Because I am part of this community. I am not your share-holder, I am not your vendor and I am certainly NOT invisible.

      The clock is ticking and the community has spoken; it is not in your favor and that is evident. What, exactly, are your intentions? I would like that in writting, here and soon because if you can’t “Boil the Ocean” or whatever and get a list of main bullet points on this forum in less than 24 hours then it is no better than responding with EA First and Unity as an afterthought. Unity is not an afterthought.

      Sincerelly,

      David Bennett

      1. John Riccitiello

        October 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm / 

        I agree. Unity first. Someday soon, i hope this blog (at least as related to me) is Unity only. As for a plan…. simple. 1) Don’t announce a new plan. We don’t need one. 2) Listen. Here on the blog. To all of Unity’s employees. I can learn a lot. 3) Work hard to enable Unity to continue to realize its mission to democratize game development.

        1. David

          October 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm / 

          Mr. Riccitiello,

          Welcome to Unity. You have demonstrated to us that you are actively connecting directly with the community and that is as refreshing as it is rare. I am looking forward to this and to what the future will look like. Thank you for taking this massive block of your time to connect with us here and share. The bullets are a’swarming but I figure a couple of weeks from now as you continue to demonstrate your willingness to speak directly with us that only a couple of hand-grenades every once in awhile will be left and we can move on.

          Again, thank you for your time, understanding and energy during this time and welcome.

          Sincerely,

          David Bennett

  85. John Riccitiello

    October 22, 2014 at 11:05 pm / 

    Hey — This is John Riccitiello. Have to admit — a bit nervous to post on this blog given some of what I have read so far. Two things i would like to say… First, I think there is far more to the EA story than what has been posted here so far, and i am sure the company is way better off when i left than when i arrived. But, in any case, this forum is about Unity, not EA. Second, I think Unity is an amazing company, and i strongly believe in the mission that Joachim, David and Nicholas created, to democratize game development. Inspiring. I hope and plan to live up to everything implied in the democratizing game development.

    The newbie here, John

    1. Igor Hatakeyama

      October 23, 2014 at 1:16 am / 

      Hey John! Welcome! I once talked to David Helgason at Unite Brazil 2013, quite a visionary! I hope you do great things for us independent developers just like he did.

  86. Kevin Simkins

    October 22, 2014 at 10:54 pm / 

    Welcome John and best wishes and continued successes to you and all the members of the Unity team. When I first heard these rumors of this potential shake-up taking place I reached out to David Helgason about 7 weeks back sharing my concern with him about what i heard and David replied back to me…”all’s well in our camp” and I believe him. Why do I believe him? Because his is nothing new in the world of tech. Founding CEO transitions are natural and should be expected.

  87. David

    October 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm / 

    Everything EA touches turns to crap. Even if John is out remember that you can take the CEO ouf EA but you’ll never take EA out of the CEO. I hope this isn’t the end of unity as a good, solid building platform.

    1. TornadoTwins

      October 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm / 

      Sorry, but that’s untrue my friend. Many EA bigwigs are phenomenal startup guys and investors with their hearts in the right place.

      1. David

        October 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm / 

        John isn’t one of them.

  88. Cobus Saunderson

    October 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm / 

    Welcome John, and good luck.

    With David having set the trend, the notch is high.

    Don’t disappear David you are Unity man.

    Cobus

  89. AndrésVv

    October 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm / 

    I would like to read/hear to John Riccitiello talk about this.

    I have to admit that some of his statements during EA (a completely different company of course) really scare me. It would be really cool to see what he thinks about this, what he wants to address, what are his main desires with Unity.

    I wish the best to all the team. I have been an Unity programmer for 2 years and this has been a lovely experience. Keep up the good things! Grow healthy!

  90. Tadej Fius

    October 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm / 

    wish you all the best with this hard decision. but it is not only me that have second thoughts were this can lead company to.

  91. Ex-Unity Fan

    October 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm / 

    Time to find a different engine.

    1. Godot

      October 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm / 

      Godot welcomes all.

      1. Sslaxx

        October 23, 2014 at 12:38 am / 

        As someone using Godot:

        What Godot needs right now, more than anything, are people to develop its featureset (which is *very* good as it stands, but lacking some basic things) and its documentation (which is, frankly, horrible). I’m seriously considering chipping in with the latter.

  92. Nihad Gondžo

    October 22, 2014 at 9:35 pm / 

    David Thank You!

  93. Karel

    October 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm / 

    If your new job role will allow you to spend more time with your family then its all good! :)

  94. Nabeel, the gamedev (@Nabeelshaikhd)

    October 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm / 

    How is he i dont know :(

  95. schmosef

    October 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm / 

    Well, if this blog post is anything to go by, this move will free up David to be active on the forums.

    That would be awesome!

    David, congrats on everything you and the co-founders have accomplished.

    Unity just keeps getting better.

  96. Ryan Christensen

    October 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm / 

    Thanks for all the work you put in David. I still believe you were the perfect person to be the CEO as it made the brand feel better, John will have to re-work some of that magic to build up trust at a crucial point of Unity progression.

    I have been using Unity for 6 years now and will miss the popped collar at the helm. I am concerned that big money may change the direction but what you built up to this point is amazing.

    Thanks again and please do not let this go off the rails.

  97. Tuti

    October 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm / 

    First, rumors about Unity was for sale. Now a former EA CEO joins the board. No doubt we are talking about serious money here.

    1. Aras Pranckevičius

      October 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm / 

      The timeline of these things is reversed: John has been on the board for about a year by now.

      1. Tuti

        October 23, 2014 at 2:31 am / 

        So it was his idea ;).

        1. David Helgason

          October 23, 2014 at 2:34 am / 

          Not so. Like me, he wants to build Unity up and away. There’s so much awesome stuff left we can do… first stop is Unity 5, then all the other stuff :)

  98. Mehmet Can Kahraman

    October 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm / 

    I was really happy with most titles from EA-Games until about 2009. Then they became a really greedy company only seeking money with no care of customer satisfaction. All of us knows EA’s reputation right now.

    Checked wikipedia and John Riccitiello was CEO in EA from 2007 to 2013.

    Most developers are happy with unity. Just please keep it this way.

  99. Igor Raffaele

    October 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm / 

    Riccitiello was an interesting character at EA, and his opinions often seemed in contrast with EA’s “pay to pay” philosophy. I know he’s been on the Unity board since he left EA, and I feel great, good change come from this, actually.

    I’d like to hear more about what role David will be holding at Unity, though – being on the board does not give executive power, and I have a suspicion he’s just being coy about something big he’s preparing behind the scenes. Are you being coy, David?

  100. Andy Cowe

    October 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm / 

    Things inevitably change when the CEO is no longer a founder, but that isn’t always a bad thing. However, Unity is special, so it is a little worrying. Hopefully this a step forward that allows David Helgason to be more hands-on rather than a businessman.

  101. Pete Mickelonis

    October 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm / 

    Please don’t make us release our games on Origin….

  102. BlackKnight

    October 22, 2014 at 9:00 pm / 

    Hmmm … welcome?!
    I want to think that is a good move, but names like: Westwood, Bullfrod, Dungeon Keeper, DRM, Day-one DLC, SimCity 2013 are keep comming to my mind…

  103. James Brewer

    October 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm / 

    If things go bad, hopefully he gets the boot. Hopefully some one clues him into the worrisome tone of these comments and lets him know that people are not looking forward to his plans.

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 9:09 pm / 

      No, not being coy at all. John is great, he’s already worked really well with us for a year as a very active board member, and I agree with him on nearly everything. He’s got more experience running companies of Unity’s size and up, and he really believes in our vision. As I said in the post, I am really happy that we convinced him to join us.

  104. Mark

    October 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm / 

    i see the future: Unity gets bought by EA ( -__-)

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm / 

      Not bloody likely.

  105. steviebpos

    October 22, 2014 at 8:08 pm / 

    I just hope he doesn’t monetise every little feature.
    I have 0 confidence in this man.

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm / 

      Not interested.

    2. Laurent

      October 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm / 

      I’m not worried about Unity in the short term, the team is solid and the momentum is good.

      But this is sustained by the fire of competition.

      So I hope the other engine makers start getting much smarter about … pretty much everything, because David at navigation and John at the helm that means one thing: Unity is turning into the Juggernaut (b*tch!).

    3. petr

      October 29, 2014 at 8:55 am / 

      Imagine that! Get unity pro for free. But every time you add a gameobject to the scene you have to wait 24 hours or pay $0.99

      1. Thomas Salisbury

        October 30, 2014 at 3:15 am / 

        LOL. Don’t forget, the editor won’t let you publish your game for less than $74.95 (with premium edition) and it makes the premium edition not work for 3 months, invalidating that version all together.

  106. Unity lover

    October 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm / 

    Oh no! I feel so sorry already for all that loved Unity. It is really sad to see how you destroy Unity with letting in John Riccitiello. Whoever is responsible for it, I hope there exists a hero that can defend “Unity” like it was!

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:50 pm / 

      That would be me, for one. Reach out on twitter or skype (my full name, no punctuation) if you see something you don’t like!

      1. Xavier Gordon

        December 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm / 

        Heck, I’m scared too :(. I really love Unity so much that I want to cry.

  107. DrD

    October 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm / 

    An Interesting interview with JR from back in 2013 just after he left EA. I think it gives a decent overview on his views on the industry.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-07-31-john-riccitiello-slams-opportunists-who-just-want-to-profit-from-games

    1. Sisso

      October 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm / 

      lovely commentaries in that article, indeed.

  108. Richard Fine

    October 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm / 

    Interesting times :) Welcome aboard John and congratulations David, sounds like your life just got a lot more fun.

    One thing some of us in the Skype chat have been wondering about, David: you’re still ultimately the person John reports to, being one of the owners of the company, right?

    If so I think that should ease a lot of people’s minds – John isn’t suddenly and radically going to depart from the vision you’ve been building towards if he still has to answer to you at the end of the day.

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm / 

      Well, John technically reports to the board, which in turn represents the shareholders, of which I am one. Most of that isn’t too important though while people generally agree.

      1. Aram

        October 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm / 

        I believe in what you believe David. Unity has grown wings and you are a part of it.

        As long as the visions shared are the same, I would feel safe about Unity. But you are always the one that made me an evangelist.

        Best of success for you and the new CEO.

      2. Richard Fine

        October 23, 2014 at 1:54 am / 

        Right. So, while John is taking the helm, you’re still lounging over at the side of the deck passing the occasional comment whilst sipping a martini, and not jumping overboard as some people seem to be mistaking things :)

        1. David Helgason

          October 23, 2014 at 2:06 am / 

          Something like that, except I’m more an Old Fashioned kind of guy.

  109. Koyima

    October 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm / 

    If you trust him David that’s a good sign. Good luck!

    To you John, as I said on twitter, please don’t screw it up. Good luck!

  110. Ray

    October 22, 2014 at 7:47 pm / 

    Good for you David, but yeah I can’t say I’m a fan of the new choice as this guy hasn’t exactly the best track record. Time will tell, but I’m very concerned…

  111. unityDev

    October 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm / 

    we like you DAVE! :)

    thank you for all, you are changing the world.

    and everyone who is going to up is welcomed.

  112. Nathan Vaughn

    October 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm / 

    Yeah, well, the “EA” bit turns me off quite a bit. EA has angered me so much I will not even touch something that has their stink on it.

    But, if like you said, he’s on board with Unity’s philosophy, then I guess I’ll just have to hope for this best.

    R.I.P. Sim City and numerous other IPs run into the ground in the quest for the almighty dollar.

    1. Gie

      October 22, 2014 at 7:48 pm / 

      Agreed

    2. Patrick Allen

      October 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm / 

      Agreed as well.

      It’s difficult to see this as “good news.”

    3. David

      October 22, 2014 at 10:52 pm / 

      Agreed.

  113. Gie

    October 22, 2014 at 7:45 pm / 

    Let’s hope for the best these coming years! :)
    David, when you started Unity, did you ever think it’d become such a big success?
    And how or when did you come up with the idea for making an engine like Unity?

    Sad to see you go as CEO, but at least you’ll still be here :)

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm / 

      Not even close. Thanks and I’ll be around as much as I can be (which is a lot!)

  114. Gonarch

    October 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm / 

    One thing in unity I liked was that David Helgason wasn’t a complete capitalist butthole kind of guy. I’m worried now for this engine future.

    1. Sslaxx

      October 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm / 

      That’s a naive statement. He’s a businessman, running a business. If he can get the best deal for himself he will.

      1. David Helgason

        October 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm / 

        John cares a lot about Unity, and I am here to work with him to execute on our vision. Watch us while we do our best to deliver the best Unity we can.

        1. Gonarch

          October 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm / 

          I didn’t say that David shouldn’t have left the position, probably he have his reason and could be quite stressing doing that job, I like part of what he did and stuff.

          I just question the guy that took now the position. I just don’t want thsi engine to be a corporate hell hole where everything get renamed to “product, client, user, marketing, business”. I’d just prefer everything would still stick first as passion then job, yeah maybe I’m asking something alien for this age and time, oh well.

  115. Troy Walker

    October 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm / 

    Welcome aboard, and thank you David for all your hard work and dedication.

    .. off to the forums, I’m sure they’re ablaze of activity on this one….

  116. Elliott Mitchell

    October 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm / 

    WOW, this is a lot to take in! You must do what feels right for you David but wow. I wish you, John and Unity a smooth transition.

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm / 

      Thanks, but it’s been in the works for a while and I’m really happy to have convinced John to join us, first on our board a year ago, and now as CEO :)

  117. Higor Bimonti

    October 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm / 

    Welcome John! And, please David, keep Unite Brazil on the road map. We have enjoyed the event very much this week! We hope to see you guys next year! Best.

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm / 

      I’m missing it this year, but enjoyed it last year. Maybe the next again!

  118. Stefano

    October 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm / 

    David, infinite admiration for what you and the Unity team have built!
    Keep up the great work and let’s keep democratizing!
    Stefano

  119. Nahuel Bergamo

    October 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm / 

    My first reaction is needing to ask: Will this mean Unity3D will be heading towards a commercial model similar to what EA applies troughout their ecosystem?.

    1. David Helgason

      October 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm / 

      I’m not even sure what that would mean? But in any case, Unity mostly is intended to stay the same, just with a more experienced executive at the helm to support our big mission.

      1. Thomas

        October 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm / 

        Mr. Helgason,

        Sir, I know that being CEO carries with it a lot of tedious things, although important, so I understand your reasoning for wanting to step down.

        I also share some of the concerns about anything EA related, however, I am glad there are barriers in place, you and the board, to mitigate issues if any should arise.

        Good luck sir! I do hope to see more of you speaking publicly about Unity as you have great stage presence. Unless, of course, it was one of those small bits you did not like…

  120. Michael LeGrand

    October 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm / 

    How can he run Unity with such a shamefully low and completely unpopped collar. It will never work!

    1. Fabrizio

      October 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm / 

      Awesome

  121. Onsterion

    October 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm / 

    Welcome!

  122. David Helgason

    October 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm / 

    @Dustin: Thanks. Running Unity at this scale has a *lot* of bits which I don’t enjoy, so that’s a very true way to describe this. Wish us all luck :)

    @Robert: I’ll send your best!

  123. Dustin Andrew

    October 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm / 

    My first reaction was shock! But the more I think about it, it does make sense for you to give up the busy job of running an international company to someone else, so you can focus on working with developers and continuing to make Unity awesome. So, I’m glad that your going to stay involved.

  124. Robert Cummings

    October 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm / 

    Welcome, John Riccitiello! We at Simian Squared wish you the best at the helm of the best!

Comments are closed.