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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, 28 Aug 2014 02:21:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC
Following the introduction of several IAP elements in Battlefield 4 over the past few months, I investigate the effects spending $100 in shortcuts and Battlepacks has on the multiplayer experience.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:25:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
I dedicated $100 and 10 hours to climbing the PvP leaderboard in a free-to-play, mobile, build and battle game. This is what I learned along the way.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Thu, 08 May 2014 10:36:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet
After a 20 hour deep dive into Blizzard's Hearthstone, F2P expert Levy analyzes the game to answer two questions. First, is Hearthstone pay-to-win? Second, what improvements could make the game the next member of Activision's billion-dollar revenue club?

Posted by Ethan Levy on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:28:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Smartphone/Tablet
Despite Crytec pedigree, high-end visuals, core gameplay and Mobage integration, The Collectables has not made a major impact on the iOS charts. In this post, F2P expert Levy analyzes the design issues negatively impacting monetization and retention.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Thu, 20 Mar 2014 01:27:00 EDT in Production, Indie
I expand on my talk for the Indie Soapbox Session at GDC about a common pattern in development I call the Indie Shame Spiral, and present my methods for reclaiming your momentum when you find yourself dragged down by your lack of progress.

Posted by Ethan Levy on Mon, 10 Feb 2014 07:34:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
Fans are in arms with the new Dungeon Keeper F2P game. Despite this reaction, the game is performing on the top grossing charts. F2P expert Levy looks at the forces driving DK backlash, and what if anything this means for the future of F2P games at EA.

Ethan Levy's Comments

Comment In: [News - 08/28/2014 - 12:03]

If there are any specific ...

If there are any specific topics you would like me to cover in my talk, let me know in the comments section here or on Twitter.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/19/2014 - 09:25]

I continued playing this game, ...

I continued playing this game, but much more casually. I am using it as my gap moment game for the time being. In the most recent tournament, where I did not spend nearly as much time playing PvP and was focused more on building up my city 's income, I ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/08/2014 - 10:36]

The second 5 hours I ...

The second 5 hours I did not play only Ranked. I primarily played casual matches and only jumped back into ranked near the end once I was more familiar with my deck. r n r nAs a free player, my record in Ranked play was 3 wins / 6 losses ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/17/2014 - 11:28]

Good question. I choose this ...

Good question. I choose this play pattern because the UI heavily incentivized grinding missions with this reward bar showing your progressive rewards before playing each mission: r n r nHowever, an alternate play pattern I could have chosen would be to play as far as possible until I lose, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/20/2014 - 01:27]

You are welcome. Keep on ...

You are welcome. Keep on climbing upwards and onwards

Comment In: [Blog - 02/10/2014 - 07:34]

Thank you for taking the ...

Thank you for taking the time to write such a long and detailed comment. I feel like it should be it 's own post. Maybe you should start a Gamasutra blog of your own with this comment as the foundation for your first article.