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Leading Unity into the future

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by David-Helgason, Oct 22, 2014.

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  1. Red Spark

    Red Spark

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    Looks like the same scenario as with Microsoft overtaking Nokia. If you haven't lived under the rock for the past few years, you could probably notice that Unity is in a deep crisis now, since the advent of UE4 and it's indie-friendly business model. Riccitiello is a typical crisis management guy - he gets into business in its difficult times and makes it profitable again. But on the stairway to profitability lots of unpopular decisions are made - and ultimately, company's image gets ruined.

    It's difficult to blame David for his decision to step down and exit into cash - for the last couple of years the stress had surely become unbearable enough to get him a pair of deep permanent circles around eyes. But it still ceases to amaze me how history keeps repeating itself, with all these business talks trying to save the ship and prevent rats from fleeing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
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  2. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Sounds a bit like hyperbole. I suggest people stick to facts - the fact is John has been with Unity serving on the board for a year now. And Unity is doing well.
     
  3. OutOfMyMindGames

    OutOfMyMindGames

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    Hi John, wish you all the best with Unity :]
     
  4. John-Riccitiello

    John-Riccitiello

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    Great question. I am not sure there is a quick and easy answer. I think you will (and should) watch more of what i do versus what i say today. As for what i can say, I'd offer a few thoughts. First, I love games and the people that make them. This may seem hard to understand for some of you, but at EA i was faced with a turn around, and there were multiple sophie's choice issues to deal with when i was there as CEO. We were in trouble. And, i am happy to say they were in good shape when i left (and still are). As for Unity, "democratizing" to me means putting the developer first. I strongly believe this and see it as my guiding light. And, i believe Unity has some awesome people that get this mission incredibly well, and i intend to listen to them. Hope this helps.
     
  5. tango209

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    If there's one thing that was been beaten into me during my tenure as a manager it can be summed up as 'Change is hard', but you know that. :p Welcome and good luck!
     
  6. jashan

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    I'll more or less repeat what I said in the comment-section of the blog ... kind of: I trust you David, and when you trust John, I guess I’ll trust him ... so welcome to the forums, John! Good luck in your new role! There's probably more expectations on you now than ever before ... these are incredibly exciting times!!! ;-)

    I just hope that some day, Nicholas will be satisfied with creating games and return to join all of you guys in engine development ... and I hope Joachim and David, you will stay having a big say ;-) at UT because you guys really shaped the game industry by creating Unity. You've touched and are still touching a lot of lives - in a really good way!

    It's awesome to have Unity as big and powerful as it now is - but to me, it's really about the people behind the engine. If Unity was as small as it was 2007 when I first found out about you, I'd still use it now (I actually did consider moving to Shiva3D for a little while because it felt kind of like Unity felt earlier on) ... as long as you guys can pay yourselves and your dev friends enough to keep on doing that awesome work you're doing, all is good ;-)
     
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  7. VIC20

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    Exactly completely different situation. who cares what and why something happened at EA? Your former subordinates are now your customers and you should know how the big ones of them are thinking. This market has a different competition. Selling tools instead of games should not require unpopular decisions and the ones one could imagine (the jokes above and in some facebook postings) would be kind of suicide. It is much more B2B instead of selling games to kids.
     
  8. BeefSupreme

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    Fair enough. Reaching out to the users here is a cool gesture (we love games too!), and you hardly sound like the evil emperor I was expecting, so maybe I'll sleep a bit better tonight. Unity has a wonderful and passionate community behind it, people who have sacrificed their free time, finances, and sanity to this craft that we love. Try not to screw it up OK?

    Oh, and welcome aboard.
     
  9. giyomu

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    Welcome John,

    And before speculate on Unity futur or draw conclusion..let him do his job ...judge on fact later :D
     
  10. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

    A Moon Shaped Bool Unity Technologies

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    Welcome to the family, John. :) Looking forward to meeting you when you visit the UK Unity Office! :D
     
  11. drawcode

    drawcode

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    Great to hear this from you. It is a bit like the Unity Steve Jobs has stepped down and we really need a Tim Cook and not a John Sculley it should be really interesting where Unity goes from here, many more doors opened now. If it stays on track it could be dangerous. The engine team and David are still there, Joachim, Aras, Jonas, Lucas, Ralph etc so hopefully this just added a modifier to their power.

    I think you should update your avatar with a popped collar to help ease the transition for the unity devs.

    Also WebGL, hook up the WebGL team with riches!
     
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  12. tatoforever

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    Welcome aboard John! To be honest, this is a what Unity needs right now (a direction, a future). I know David is a smart guy and I respect/love him as much as I love Unity but John will skyrocket Unity even more! :)
     
  13. VIC20

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    I doubt that would work out. He would look like a cheap imitation of David Helgason - and David was born for popped collars, it looks so natural that I never thought about it till I've read the comments about it on the forums.
     
  14. drawcode

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    True, maybe David has a long neck and it works, John if he doesn't, may look like a turtle barely popping out of the shell. You have to be a certain level of pimp to pop it.
     
  15. makeshiftwings

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    Sorry John, I don't really think you're worse than Sauron, and I think people are probably exaggerating when they describe the all-consuming miasma of despair that drowns their souls in pitiless darkness as they wither under the sinister gaze of your ever-burning eye. And if you can get Unity to update Mono to .NET 4 equivalency then I will totally pledge myself to your service.
     
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  16. chiapet1021

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    Welcome, @John Riccitiello! I applaud your courage in posting on these forums, and I hope you will continue to do so. Frequent, meaningful interaction with the community goes a long way. We crave it, and we can't get enough of it. :)

    There are obviously a lot of naysayers for you to prove wrong with this "changing of the guard." I am rather disappointed at some of the (over)reactions posted here, and I sincerely hope that you will prove the skeptics wrong. Best of luck in leading Unity into this next phase!
     
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  17. Cogent

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    Welcome John!

    Good luck in your new role.
     
  18. superpig

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    Just to point out - doesn't seem like David is "exiting into cash." He's still a shareholder, and is still going to be at Unity, albeit not doing the same stuff as he's been doing up until now.
     
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  19. SteveJ

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    Some of you guys take all of this stuff way too personally. Unity is an amazing tool. Just use it to make your games. If the tool or the company is no longer a viable option for you in future, then look at other options. You need to remember that you CHOOSE to use Unity.

    It's incredibly rude to start mouthing off about this guy (John) because you think you know things about him. I'm sure he's a great guy. I'm sure David is a great guy. They're all just trying to do their best. You should focus on your own stuff.
     
  20. Saxi

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    This affects our own stuff, many people invested a ton of time and money into Unity and built/building a business based on it.
     
  21. Cogent

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    This ^^

    Even if this is part of an overall strategy that doesn't turn out well for Unity developers everyone has plenty of other options.

    We'd prefer to continue with Unity and hope it's around for a while but we are prepared to move if we have to.

    *goes back to development*
     
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  22. SteveJ

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    Unity Technologies are not responsible for your business. You are.
     
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  23. Cogent

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    Yes.

    *resumes going back to development*
     
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  24. reentrant

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    Real CEO's of real companies, with real experience, chatting with their user base. Awesome!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
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  25. Teila

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    Welcome, John. I wish you the best. My favorite game was an EA game and the only game that became a passion for me. Unfortunately, EA changed it and it will never be the same. But regardless, you are right, hard decisions sometimes have to be made. Maybe I will find a new game someday although honestly, I stay away from EA games these days and so do my kids. :)

    How about we build some great Indie games together! :D
     
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  26. jc_lvngstn

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    I think really, people want to know how this will benefit Unity and its customers. Not just "moving forward to a bright future" vagueness, but is this choice actually better. I'm not saying it's not, I just don't know specifics or if things are even going to change at all.
    And...if worse comes to worse, there are alternatives.
     
  27. hippocoder

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    And it's an excellent point indies can learn from. This was an observation on the micro transaction business - and a very good one. It tells us that the time is as important as the place that you perform the micro transaction in. This isn't evil, it's clever and I hope we can all learn more from John rather than bullying him off the forums ;)

    John pointed out earlier in the thread that EA is not relevant and I agree - it isn't, so please keep EA talk out of this thread, it's disrespectful since it implies that John is incapable of doing a good job at Unity. Judge the man by his actions at Unity - this is fair.

    Give it time. First, people need to get over the surprise factor of the announcement.
     
  28. Carpe-Denius

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    Even if I am a liiiiittle bit sceptical with the situation, I think that seems a bit out of context. He is telling the truth about gamers (and other people in other situations, too), that does not necessarily mean that he wants to milk that. As far as I know, battlefield 4 (I hated it. No co-op?...) doesn't charge this dollar.

    That being said... welcome aboard. May the userbase have mercy on your soul.
     
  29. BeefSupreme

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    lol, the internet thinks this about literally everything.
     
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  30. landon912

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    We are a very nice community, don't let us scare you away. That said, many of us see you as a potential threat to something very important and meaningful to each of us. John, at this time I simply can't support you yet, however I hope and believe that that can change. However, you seem to want us to forget about your past, which will and should never happen. I can sympathize and understand the immense stress you as a CEO of a corporation hold, and the pressure to make the desired profit tier. However, under no circumstance is that an excuse to allow, encourage, or implement manipulative measures to do so. I absolutely disagree and am occasionally disgusted with some of your statements unfortunately. You're policy on micro transactions goes quite against some of your statements here about putting your customers first.

    Please prove me wrong, and welcome to a new challenge! To gain the trust of this community. Trust me, you're seeing the ugly side right now, it'll get much much nicer or more hollow depending on your future course of action.

    Best of luck to you, John, and the rest of the community!
     
  31. Teila

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    Forgive me. I skipped through the posts and didn't see that. I don't like reading all the negativity. I really meant that as a little joke, albeit a bad joke in such a sensitive situation. I am sure John will find us a breath of fresh air compared to all the angry gamers out there. :) I actually think it might be good to get a little reality injection from a guy who ran a big commercial company. Changes are scary but they are happening whether we like them or not. At least Unity is being proactive.
     
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  32. hippocoder

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    I agree its a bit scary and I hope (not you, Teila!) people will realise that and refrain from posting potentially inflammable posts as I'll have to delete anything too outlandish. This isn't censorship, it's common sense since we don't know anything and we have to give the new CEO time to actually judge him :)
     
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  33. Deleted User

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    Edit: Removed Hippo not really aimed at him.

    You can only react based upon information at hand relative at present time. You can't base development on non-information or pieces that don't exist (like the roadmap) I had to get that one in. Neither is it a subtle matter to "switch" on the whim of news.

    We should always remain professional and/ or respectful, but there are no issues with debate and voicing concern.

    @SteveJ is right, it's not their business or learning development it's yours. If this news casts doubt and I can always see both sides of the coin, then it's always smart to weigh options. Although just as train motion takes time to carry. weight of influence will not be know for a time to come.

    The only thing I disagree with is Unity is an "amazing tool", it's an OK tool that requires uplifting into this decade and I believe John could be the man to do it..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
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  34. TylerPerry

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  35. Ness

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  36. gregorypierce

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    Cool stuff.

    Its hard for the old-school Unity folks who have used the tool since it was really just something on the Mac. We've seen the company grow up and thrive and seen the culture that David has fostered and I think some of the pushback and FUD is concern that the company CULTURE will change. That's really to be expected from any company that has this sort of change at the top because people on the outside don't understand they "why" that took place - and I'm sure some of that is personal and some of that is confidential.

    @John Riccitiello I don't think its anything personal, but this is a large and VERY unexpected change so people are going to judge based upon what they know and a lot of people know EA as a huge pile of negativity and an example of corporate greed (as you've seen expressed here). This only increases the anxiety because people will assume that the same business plan of "profits above all else" will apply here. Nobody is really aware of why you made the choices that you did, and even if you told them they still wouldn't understand or agree because its a very personal thing. Its like when Fox cancelled Firefly. If you put the CEO of Fox in charge of Unity Tech I'm sure you'd see the same sort of reaction. I'm sure the same thing happen when Bill Gates stepped down and when Steve Jobs stepped down. Massive changes in leadership tend to leave a lot of questions, but I'm glad you guys are trying getting ahead of it.

    I won't lie - I have a lot of anxiety about where you plan to take things because its now YOUR job to drive the vision and direction of the company. But I'm not contemplating anything stupid like looking at other engines or anything like that - because Unity is what I call home, and I'll keep calling it home until I have REAL (not imagined) reasons to do otherwise.

    I do hope that you'll share some more about where you see Unity going, how you want to change the community, etc. because we suspect that change is coming (you don't have change at the top if there aren't SOME changes in the pipeline) - but we don't know what so expect and that's just going to start a swirl of FUD that is detrimental to the community.

    That said, best of luck to you and thanks to you and David for even taking the time to chat with us. That in itself is a positive statement! I sincerely hope that with you and David working together you'll bring Unity to great new places. Just remember why WE are here and you won't go wrong ;)
     
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  37. Somedays

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    @John Riccitiello unity has changed my life and the lives of a ton of others. It has allowed me to quit school, develop games, do what I love, and help my parents pay their mortgage. Unity has been such a blessing for me and my family, and I really hope you lead unity in the right direction and keep allowing new developers to make their dreams come true. Good luck and I look forward to Unity's future under your leadership.
     
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  38. BeefSupreme

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    I really hope it's not an IPO, I've seen so many things get ruined once they open up to public investment. Suddenly, the pressure is on to perform, and silly things happen.
     
  39. tatoforever

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    Sir, those are just scratch details that have nothing to do with Unity business. In the end, what's really matters is Unity now and it's future. :eek:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
  40. col000r

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    All I want is for Unity to stay a good tool to work with and to stay at a price-level where I can afford to upgrade to the new Pro version every 2 years. Can you promise me that? Then I'm happy.

    PS: There's already tons of IAP in Unity, just press Ctrl+9.
     
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  41. Rastar

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    I dunno - this is looking like a typical move in a VC-backed company: After the initial, technology-driven growth the founder/owner is replaced by a more financially-oriented person to prepare the IPO or buyout. I may be wrong, but I guess a lot of things or going to change at UT - whether for the better or worse, time will tell.
     
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  42. NomadKing

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    Welcome aboard John - time to pop that collar and prove some people wrong ;)
     
  43. Shildrak

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    Honestly, I don't think we as gamedevs needs to be too concerned about being nickel and dimed. At least not anymore than is already in place with the unity store where you can buy ios dlc, android dlc, etc ;-)

    If I was to predict where John will take us I find it much more likely that he will take a good long look at our customers and the info being gathered by playnomics/everyplay and give us the tooling to maximize our profits from them. I think his track record proves he is pretty good at that. Also, I suppose I would be a little bit nervous if I was a unity employee since ~400 is a fairly large staff budget. So, my 3 predictions with John at the wheel:
    1) Tooling/focus on maximizing profits for our games, eg increased focus on playnomics/everyplay.
    2) Attract/help build more big IP's based on Unity to get a better track record outside indie. This will also drive visual quality.
    3) Restructuring/trimming inside Unity

    I do think Unity needs to act to stay competitive, so welcome aboard John.
     
  44. Ippokratis

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    If I recall correctly, back in the day when Unity was a smaller company, before Sequoia invest some good $ in it, the first big studio that entrusted it was EA with Tiger Woods golf game. We had funny discussions at work back then with a colleague who was saying " who the hell uses this engine besides you ? " - " EA !". They also purchased a good number of licences, something reported in blog posts of that period.

    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2009/09/21/rollins-rinaldi-intervie/
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/...ar_License_For_Unity_Development_Platform.php
    http://techcrunch.com/2009/10/20/unity-technologies-raises-5-5-million-from-sequoia-capital/

    EA means a lot of things to a lot of people, for me it is one of the reasons ( and a serious one ) that Unity today exists. Thanks to John's decision, back in the day to support a small company.

    Welcome John.
     
  45. Tiles

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    Welcome aboard John :)

    Guess it's too early to ask, but does this switch mean that there are any significant changes regarding Unity ahead? Or is the current direction more business as usual?
     
  46. AngryAnt

    AngryAnt

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    The sky is falling! The fall is skying!

    Ah, hang on, my bad.

    It will be interesting to see what your new dynamic duo produces.
     
  47. Alewx11

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    So that will mean Mister EA, is gonna change Unity to a cashcow, ruining its reputation in the community for extreme monetarization pressure... what a great deal...
    yeah future will be bright.... the man that made the worst company of USA twice in a row, and unity is celebrating him.. what is wrong here....
    I suspect that with unity 5 not only technology will change but also the handling and selling.
     
  48. Red Spark

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    Regarding this - I think that just illustrates the true nature of things going on (and not only in this industry). On one side of the spectrum there are gaming addicts - ugly, jobless, sexually deprivated, basement-dwelling forever alones, escaping from reality into virtual worlds giving them the only sense of purpose. On the other side - socially adept, well-educated, business-oriented, well-groomed top suits, living in huge houses, owning yachts, driving ferraris, and having VS models on their speed dial. And the latter ones have no respect for the former ones - they see them only as addicts ready to pay everything for a fix, and they love building wealth around cashing on their addiction (that's why they aren't marketing shampoos instead).

    But ultimately, in a free market customers are to blame. If you're 6 hours into the game and you're asked for a dollar to keep going, and instead of returning the game and demanding refund you're reaching to your wallet for a credit card... well, you deserve that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  49. SaraCecilia

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    Welcome to the family John! :D Look forward to meeting you when you come down to the Copenhagen office next :)
     
  50. eskovas

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    Welcome aboard :) Here's hoping for the best!

    - In David we trust :D
     
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