John Riccitiello, Unity’s CEO, has written to the company’s employees regarding the immigration ban brought into place by embattled president Donald Trump, and, understandably, he’s not a fan.
In his letter, he expresses concern over the ban’s impact on a "free exchange of ideas", something Unity holds closely at the heart of its corporate philosophy.
With that in mind, Riccitiello has outlined a response to Trump’s ban, with Unity offering not just its vocal opposition to the ban, but also support to those affected by it. Unity are looking to fly 50 developers from the seven affected countries to Unity’s Unite summit in Amsterdam this year, and they’ve asked the companies that sponsor the event to consider covering even more flights themselves.
You can find the majority of the internally circulated email below: "These are challenging times politically.Our developers in 7 countries now feel targeted and less welcome in the USA, whether the US courts continue to block the Trump administration’s immigration ban or not. Even beyond the 7 countries called out, developers and residents of other countries feel like they’re potentially next and unwelcome.
"I think we all recognize that the best innovation in the game industry and in the world of AR/VR comes when there is a free exchange of ideas among developers, and where all feel welcome and free and confident in their interactions and travels.
"Questions about discrimination are more present than any time in recent history. For Unity, if there is a shared value beyond our mission statement, I believe it is a belief in non-discrimination. We are global with our people, global with our customers and have room for everyone, treated equally. It is why we do Women in Gaming, and why we will do more programs like this in the future.
"First – We are going to invite 50 developers from the list of countries impacted by Trump’s ban to Unite Amsterdam, paid for by Unity. We know that many of our developers would want to travel for events like GDC, E3, Unity’s Vision Conference or Unite in LA – and don’t feel (or aren’t) welcome. We are officially inviting them to join us in Amsterdam. We are going to invite our developers and platform companies to sponsor more beyond the 50 we pay for. If we end up having more sponsored developers than we can accommodate in Amsterdam, we’ll look to take the overflow to other Unite events. The message is clear – Developers, no matter their country or religion, are welcome with Unity."
"We know many at Unity want to do something personally, and would appreciate having their company stand with them," he continued. "So, for the coming month, now thru March 10, Unity will match donations you choose to make (up to $1,000) to a qualified charity. This one is going to be a bit tricky because various rules and laws for how donations work vary quite a bit by country. There may be cases where the complication of matching a donation may be too much. But, we’ll try to accommodate any reasonable charity/country. You might choose to donate to a group like the ACLU if you want to donate to a group that is on the front line of fighting the discrimination in the Trump action. Unity is about empowerment and it is your choice. Trish Searce will send out a note shortly explaining how you should handle questions and requests on the donation matching.
"So, like many of you, I am super challenged by the changing political landscape. I strongly believe that there is no place in this world for discrimination, in any form. We at Unity are going to do our part to address the situation in our own unique way, focused on our community of developers and in helping amplify the voice of our people."