Unity boss John Riccitiello has apologised for calling developers that don’t prioritise monetisation in the creative process “fucking idiots”.
Earlier this week, Riccitiello was slammed for stating that mobile developers who don’t seek to squeeze monetisation from their smartphone games represented only “a very small portion of the gaming industry”, calling them “the most beautiful and pure, brilliant people” that were also “some of the biggest fucking idiots”.
After insisting the interview was “clickbait” and “out of context”, Riccitiello has now apologised for his “crude word choice” and said if he had been “smart in choosing [his] words” he would have said that he is “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”.
“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 in the lengthy statement posted on Twitter.
“What I can do, perhaps, is provide more on what I was thinking when I did the interview. What I would have said if I had taken greater care.
“First – I have great respect for game developers,” he began. “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.
“Second – one thing I have seen is that most game devs work incredibly hard and want people to play their game. To enjoy it. And, when appropriate for players to engage deeply. For the game devs I have worked most closely with there is often anxiety about whether players will love the game and appreciate all the work and love that went into making it.
“Third – Sometimes all a game developer wants is to have a handful of friends enjoy the game. Art for art’s 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 explained.
“Fourth – 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.
“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 concluded. “Anyway, that’s it. Lots of words. And a sentence that I wish I had never said.”
In related news, the UK government has told the UK games industry that if it won’t voluntarily take action on loot boxes, it will draw up legislation that will.