[Update] Unity co-founder quits

Nicholas Francis leaves middleware firm to move into game development
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Unity co-founder Nicholas Francis has quit after ten years at the game engine outfit.

Francis said he had made the decision to leave the company as he wanted to concentrate his efforts on making games, rather than the tech behind it.

He added that the decision to leave was “one of the hardest ones in my life”, and that he was proud of his achievements at the middleware firm, which has become hugely popular among the indie community in particular for its range of development tools.

“As great as it has been building Unity, I have come to feel that actually using it is what really scratches my itch,” said Francis in a blog post.

“On days where I can just get into the zone and fidget around with some shaders, game code, a custom editor tool or whatnot, I feel really fulfilled. And at the end of the day, that’s what it boils down to (for me, at least)

“So I will be leaving Unity in order to join your ranks and dedicate myself to creating games. This has not been an easy choice – in fact, it has been one of the hardest ones in my life. I am infinitely proud of everything I’ve been part of building, proud of the team, and proud of having a tiny part of me in all your games. So proud that I can’t wait to experience Unity from the other side of the fence.”

Update: A Unity spokesperson has sent us a response on who will be replacing Nicholas Francis in his role was chief creative officer, which states the company is not looking for a replacement at this time.

"Through the first ten years of Unity, Nicholas was Chief Creative Officer (CCO) and played a very large leadership role in many of the incredible advancements of the Unity technology and direction of the business," read a statement.

"His focus had been on workflow design, editor design, brand design, and the original design for the Asset Store, along with a ton of other activities over the years including the original implementation of the UnityGUI system which was released in 2007. He's been considering this transition for a while and had taken steps to hire people to take over his work on the new retained GUI system late last year while taking time to make decisions about his future.

"His creativity is, frankly, irreplaceable and because his role wasn't managerial, we are not searching for a replacement at this point."