Unity CEO John Riccitiello: “I think multiplayer in mobile is a big story.”

During an interview with John Koetsier for the tech first podcast, John Riccitiello discussed the effect mobile has on gaming.

Unity CEO John Riccitiello: “I think multiplayer in mobile is a big story.”

Unity has had a somewhat rough year, with issues in September arising from price increases and the then-proposed merger with IronSource fuelling consumer scepticism. However, for now it appears to be business as usual at the game development kit provider. Recently we’ve heard Unity CEO John Riccitiello interviewed on the Techfirst podcast with host John Koetsier, where mobile got a prominent look in from Mr Ricitiello.

Koetsier does bring up the IronSource merger prominently, which mainly reiterates aspects already known to the public. The main focus being monetisation, especially in multiplayer games. Although Riccitiello does insist that this will all be to the end-benefit of the player. Whether that’ll work out or not isn’t something that can be parsed from an interview, but as Ricitiello says, “You know, we have a deep love of the indie that’s just kind of doing it for the love of it. But we also know a lot of indies and of course many commercial organisations are also looking to make a living from it.”

Unity Engines

Ricitiello points to smartphones and mobile gaming repeatedly throughout the interview as a major driver behind game adoption. With many points we’ve reiterated in our past coverage, such as accessibility and the idea of players essentially having a console or computer in their pocket no matter where they go.

When asked about the monetization principles of the IronSource merger, Ricitiello also pointed to what he believed would be a shift of more multiplayer titles coming to mobile. “I think multiplayer in mobile is a big story. It’s a big reality. Initiating kind of now, but accelerating over the next couple of years and what’s going on out there.”

He’s certainly not wrong in observing that multiplayer mobile games are becoming big business. With titles like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG or Fortnite making major inroads into the mobile market with bespoke versions or ports of their major console games. However, as Unity is often known for, JRicitiello seems optimistic that developers who normally wouldn’t consider mobile games will begin looking into it, and clearly sees a growing market Unity wants access to.

“‘Cause getting to a multiplayer game experience is hard. It requires a different kind of engineering than a single-player game does, and we enable that.”

As we previously reported, IronSource has made their name with mobile monetisation. So it should come as no surprise that, with John promoting the growth of mobile multiplayer, that we might guess that Unity will concentrate on it in future. Equitable access to developer tools would make for an interesting new entry into the market, encouraging great games…if it works.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.