Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 7, 2020
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Ethan Levy's Blog   Expert Blogs


Ethan Levy is an 15 year veteran game designer and producer. Starting as an intern at Pandemic Studios on Star Wars: Battlefront, he has contributed to over 50 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. In 2015, he joined N3TWORK where he does game design and monetization work on hit mobile game Legendary: Game Of Heroes.

For the latest thoughts on free-to-play games and monetization design, follow Levy on Twitter.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Ethan Levy on Thu, 29 Jun 2017 10:32:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Smartphone/Tablet
A look at South Park's free-to-play mobile game - currently in soft launch - reveals a missed opportunity in the gacha store design that can impact its monetization.

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.

Ethan Levy's Comments

Comment In: [News - 01/26/2018 - 03:26]

Saying that MOBAs are not ...

Saying that MOBAs are not ideal for F2P strikes me as poor logic. What do League Of Legends, Heroes Of The Storm, DOTA 2 and Strike Of Kings have in common They are some of the most popular and lucrative games in the world, they are MOBAs and they are ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/29/2017 - 10:32]

Thank you for the thoughtful ...

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Funnily enough, some of my teammates and colleagues at N3TWORK were the core of the Hellfire team. Working alongside them on Legendary, I have learned a tremendous amount about monetization design.

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 ...