Skip to content

John Riccitiello on technological changes in video games and the power of platforms

A decade or two ago all games were 2D because you couldn’t power a 3D game. You couldn’t do online gaming: you couldn’t connect to another live player. And for the most part you were strapped to a device cparked under your TV or to a large desktop PC. That’s not true any longer.

Networks work better than they’ve ever worked before. 2D became 3D. What was non-interactive became interactive; non-social became social.

The second thing that’s changed so much is the underlying technology that allows games to be real time. If you try to create a picture in a traditional tool from an Adobe or an Autodesk, or Pixar’s Renderman, it might take an hour or a day or a week to produce that frame based on the input. When you’re playing a video game, you’re creating a frame that’s never been seen by another human being on this planet in a 60th of a second.

When you’re going to make something that’s going to be interactive, it’s got to have a system for rendering pixels on a big screen. It’s got to have a system for animation. It’s got to have a system for processing sound. It’s got to have a system for bouncing light around. It’s got to have a system for basic UI and UX.*

What Unity does is we create an underlying technology base that allows all of those things to happen instantly and easily, so you can focus on the content. We composite the code for over thirty platforms, from Occulus to HoloLens, to Xbox to PC to Mac. It vastly accelerates the speed with which one can produce [games], and lowers the cost.

John Riccitiello on What’s Next in Gaming? on the a16z podcast

*User Interface and User Experience

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...