Former EA boss John Ricitiello named Unity Game Engine's CEO

  • Published in Industry news

Former Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello has been appointed the CEO for the cross-platform game company Unity Technology, after its CEO and founder David Helgason, has stepped down from his role as Chief Executive.

Helgason founded Unity in 2003, and had served as its CEO until today. Riccitiello, who resigned from EA by mutual consent in March 2013, has served on Unity’s board of directors since Last November.

Unity Engine

"Unity has been a hugely positive force in the games industry for years," Riccitiello said in a press release. "Now it's my incredible fortune to have the opportunity to help guide Unity going forward. Unity is more than a great engine or packages of services, it's an amazing and diverse community of developers, many of which are changing the way we think about game design and production. 

Unity's mission – to democratize development – is an important one that I'm very happy to help drive forward."

"This is an amazing win for Unity and the community," Helgason said in a statement. "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!"

With Riccitiello taking over as CEO of Unity, Helgason will transition to a role where he works on strategy and establishes relationships with developers. 

According to numbers published by Unity, more than 600,000 monthly active developers are using the engine, from hobbyists to students, indie studios and large publishers. Games like Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Wasteland 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, Dreamfall: Chapters, among many others are running on the Unity Engine.

The basic version of Unity is free to download and experiment with, while users must play for the Pro version.

In August, Unity extended its partnership with Microsoft, offering free Unity Pro Access to ID@Xbox developers. In September, it was also announced that all registered PlayStation developers could use Unity Pro for free.

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