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June 26, 2017
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Ethan Levy's Blog   Expert Blogs


Ethan Levy is an 12 year veteran game designer and producer. Starting as an intern at Pandemic Studios on Star Wars: Battlefront, he has contributed to over 40 shipped games across every genre and platform. He has worked at companies including EA/BioWare, PlayFirst and iWin. In 2012, Levy founded FamousAspect to serve as a monetization design consultant with a focus on free-to-play games for mobile, tablet, PC, web and console.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Ethan Levy on Thu, 05 May 2016 01:22:00 EDT in Business/Marketing
A recent report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is investigating adding paid search to the App Store. Here, I react with some fears for how paid search will affect rank and file game devs and the mobile game ecosystem.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Fri, 20 Mar 2015 01:54:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Smartphone/Tablet
This post analyzes the much hyped, self characterized "anti-monetizer" of a game, Vainglory and identifies 5 ways it could optimize its game monetization without sacrificing respect for their community.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Mon, 19 Jan 2015 01:21:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC
In this thought experiment, I make some predictions about the game market on virtual reality platforms, how it will change over time and whether developers should make their games free-to-play or premium based on the state of consumers' VR adoption.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 01:46:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Peggle Blast is just as fun, whimsical and addictive as the original game. It also employs one of my most hated free-to-play monetization tactics.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 01:44:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Console/PC
In this post, I analyze the checkout flow when buying in-game currency in Assassin's Creed Unity on Steam. The messy interplay between Steam and Unity introduces significant friction into the experience, likely reducing IAP revenue for both parties.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:30:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
GvG events are a major driver of retention and revenue in mobile F2P games. In this inside look at what it is like to be a high value player, I spend $200 and 5.5 hours to help my guild top the charts in a 3 day event in a build and battle style game.

Ethan Levy's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/06/2015 - 01:35]

This study is fantastic Thank ...

This study is fantastic Thank you so much for all the effort in soliciting responses, analyzing and sharing the findings.

Comment In: [Blog - 12/11/2014 - 01:46]

I agree. This tactic of ...

I agree. This tactic of hiding the price is a short term optimization that I suspect loses players and thus revenue over the long term. r n r nI remember once clicking a button to unlock a cart in Angry Birds Go and experiencing extreme sticker shock. If memory serves ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/08/2014 - 01:44]

To EA 's credit, Origin ...

To EA 's credit, Origin really does get better every time I log in. I wish I had the ease of managing my whole PC game library from a single client, but know that will never happen. But as it stands today, I 'm pretty happy with Origin as a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/07/2014 - 06:30]

Yes, if your goal was ...

Yes, if your goal was player engagement and not retention, I see no reason an event system without pay-to-participate mechanics couldn 't be successful. In fact, it could open up the design to incorporate more skill into your event score, which could make the event more fun and further increase ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/30/2014 - 01:46]

I am also working hard ...

I am also working hard to do that thing I said I 'd do... which was to write a different article and not this one, or the next one I 've already started working on.

Comment In: [Blog - 09/16/2014 - 09:50]

Thanks much, Iain. Glad you ...

Thanks much, Iain. Glad you enjoyed the piece.