Unity CEO John Riccitiello has resigned following a controversial price change that has seen developers abandon Unity’s platform in droves.
Unity unveiled an unpopular pricing change in which it would have charged for every game once the developer crossed certain thresholds. The move resulted in numerous game studios and developers announcing they would switch to another game engine and stop using Unity, prompting the company to apologize and walk back part of the pricing changes.
According to a company press release, James M. Whitehurst has been appointed Interim CEO. Roelof Botha, Lead Independent Director of the Unity Board, is the company’s new Chairman. Meanwhile, Riccitiello will act as an adviser during the transition.
“Working with Unity under John’s leadership has been one of the highlights of my career. John joined the Unity Board in 2013 and stepped in to lead the Company in 2014, at a time when we faced significant challenges,” Mr. Botha said. “John has led Unity through incredible growth over the last nearly 10 years, helping us transition from a perpetual license to a subscription model, enabling developers to monetize, building other game services to serve our creator community, leading us through an IPO and positioning us as a pioneer in the developer community. Unity would not be where it is today without the impact of his contributions. I remain excited for the future of Unity.”
“I am honored to join Unity as Interim CEO and President at this important time in its evolution,” Mr. Whitehurst said. “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. I look forward to working closely with the Board and our talented global team to execute on our strategy, and I anticipate a seamless transition.”
“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,” Mr. Riccitiello said. “I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the Company’s future success.”
Unity made a point of reaffirming its Q3 2023 guidance, no doubt in an effort to reassure investors amid the changes.