Game News Monetization of video games: when the former boss of EA insults certain developers
Is it going too far? In an interview with PocketGamer, John Riccitiello insulted developers who did not think about monetizing their title.
- Monetization within the game development process
- “Choosing not to know anything at all is not a very good choice”
Monetization within the game development process
The words of John Riccitiello, president of the company Unity (a game engine) and former boss of Electronic Arts, will certainly be debated in the video game industry in the coming days. In an interview given to pocket gamer on the merger between Unity and IronSource (which specializes in providing monetization tools), he had very harsh words about a certain type of video game developer:
Ferrari and some high-end car manufacturers continue to use dirt and carving knives. A very small portion of the video game industry continues to operate in this way, and they are the people I prefer to fight with – they are the most beautiful and the purest, the most brilliant. But they are also sometimes the biggest idiots.
Words he made in response to PocketGamer’s comment which mentioned developers refusing to talk about monetization during the creation process. He backtracked on those statements today through a post on Twitter:
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. #Unity
—John Riccitiello (@johnriccitiello) July 15, 2022
Stalker. Taken out of context. Deeply sorry if I said anything that may have offended the game developers. I like people who develop games. Creative and rigorous.
“Choosing not to know anything at all is not a very good choice”
Of course, John Riccitiello tempers his remarks later in the interview. In particular, he mentions a change in the industry and in a development philosophy that he does not consider to be good:
There was a time when developers dumped their game on marketing with literally no interaction beforehand. Today, this industry divides people who stick to such a model and those who want to know what makes a product work. And I don’t know of any artist who doesn’t care what the player thinks. This is when the customer return cycle kicks in, and he can decide to ignore it. But choosing to know nothing at all is not a very good choice.
In any case, it is worth noting that certain titles have sometimes come close to disaster because of their economic model. The standard bearer of this club is undoubtedly Star Wars: Battlefront II: the title, released in 2017, is followed by a big controversy because of almost obligatory microtransactions (you had to spend about fifty hours of play to unlock character). A debate that had prompted Electronic Arts to remove them from the game very quickly, especially at a time when the politicians of certain countries had lootboxes in their sights.
More recently, we can think of Skate and Fall Guys which recently went free-to-play. In addition, it is the game Diablo Immortal which was in the fire of criticism for its too present monetization … which allowed it to recover 49 million euros in less than a month.