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Unity CEO John Riccitiello is departing after the company backtracked on its fee changes

Unity logo on a blue background with wads of cash beneath it

John Riccitiello, the former CEO of Electronic Arts who joined Unity as CEO and President in 2014, will depart the game engine and development tool company, effective immediately.

In a press release from Unity, it was revealed that Riccitiello would also leave his positions as Unity's Chairman and as a member of its Board of Directors. The company stated he would "continue to advise Unity to ensure a smooth transition."

In a statement, Riccitiello is quoted as saying:

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. I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the Company’s future success.

James M. Whitehurst, who previously served as President of IBM, has been appointed as an interim CEO and President, and as a board member. Roelof Botha has been named as the board's Chairman. The company says it will start searching for a permanent CEO.

Today's press release makes no mention of the recent controversial proposed plan by Unity to start charging a per-install fee on all games that use its engine. These changes caused a massive negative reaction from most game developers, many of whom said they would no longer use Unity, even if the company backtracked on its plans.

A few days after the company announced its per-install business plan, Unity decided to not push forward with most of those ideas. It will now give game developers who sign up for the Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise plans a choice of runtime fees; either "a 2.5% revenue share or the calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month."

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