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Former EA CEO John Riccitiello is now head of Unity

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Former chief executive officer of Electronic Arts John Riccitiello has a new role: CEO of Unity Technologies, the company that develops the popular cross-platform game engine Unity.

In a post from Unity founder David Helgason, who's stepping down as CEO but staying with the company, he says Riccitiello is "the right person to help guide the company to the mission that we set out for ourselves over a decade ago: democratize game development!"

Helgason says that Unity has been "making some big moves" lately, pointing to the company's investment in new partnerships and technologies.

"This is a lot to take on as a company and building it right is going to take a huge effort," Helgason writes. "We keep our eyes out for the best talent and help wherever we feel we can use it at every level. That's why today, I'm pleased to welcome John Riccitiello onto the Unity team as our new CEO. Sure, that sounds odd, as it also means I'm stepping down from the role, but this is an amazing win for Unity and the community.

"Many of you are likely familiar with John. He's been in the games industry for a long time, both as COO and later CEO of Electronic Arts. He's also helped fund and guide some notable startups like Oculus and Syntertainment among many others, and is a heartfelt believer in the indie scene and its importance to the overall well-being of the industry."

Riccitiello was head of EA from 2007 to 2013. He announced his resignation from the publisher last year, saying he was accountable for the company missing financial guidance and falling short of its internal operating plan in a letter to EA's board. Riccitiello was succeeded by executive chairman Larry Probst. The publisher's new CEO, Andrew Wilson, was appointed last September.

What does Riccitiello's new role at Unity mean for the company, Helgason asks.

"Not too much, since John completely agrees with our vision and our strategy," he says. "If anything it means that we'll be more focused than ever about making sure everyone has access to the best technology and services. We want all of you to have the best tools and opportunities, and we're going to do everything we can to make that happen across the board."

Unity is available across a wide variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.