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The Art of LiveOps
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The Art of LiveOps

Author: James Gwertzman and Crystin Cox

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The Art of LiveOps podcast provides an in-depth perspective on modern game development and shares stories behind some of the most successful LiveOps strategies. Join our hosts, James Gwertzman and Crystin Cox, as they interview a variety of game development professionals in the industry. Presented by Azure PlayFab, if you are interested in learning more about LiveOps visit Download the latest episode transcript at
34 Episodes
Who really runs the show these days at games studios? Today’s guest, Patrick McGrath, makes a solid case for the Product Leads and PMs who are thinking long-term and making sure the studio is making the right decisions for all the games, and all the players, for many years to come. He also points out some exciting ways that other businesses are starting to make use of gamification and free-to-play monetization strategies to create the kinds of excellent customer experiences that keep them coming back for more.Support the show (
Ever wondered why certain games thrive in one cultural context and bomb in another? Saumya Iyer, a LiveOps expert helping mobile games thrive in India, is here to explain the incredible impact of a shared cultural context and sense of community on a game’s success in any given market. This is a must-listen if you’re expanding internationally, or wondering why your game just isn’t catching on as you’d hoped in a new segment. Support the show (
GamePoint’s BINGO has been going strong for fifteen years and counting. How do they do it? Wouter Schrijvershof, a veteran Community Manager and now LiveOps Manager at GamePoint, is here to share some of the secrets of their longevity. Spoiler alert: it’s all about transparency, responsiveness, establishing genuine connections, and keeping it fresh with live events!  Support the show (
Bryan Mashinter, a true LiveOps expert, packs so much actionable wisdom into this episode it’s practically bursting at the seams. Listen to learn why you should be focused on creating win-win scenarios, why you need more content than you think you do, how many events in a row is too many, and so much more! Support the show (
When you think about the top game platforms in the world, though Roblox may not immediately spring to mind, it should. With over 15 million games and 150 million players, Roblox is the #1 gaming site for kids and teens, and is growing in popularity across all demographics. Listen as Jay Jodway, Head of Top Developer, outlines how, and why, Roblox empowers their community of creators with LiveOps tools from day one.Support the show (
Today we are joined by Ben Cousins, an expert with 21 years experience in the Free-To-Play and Games-as-a-Service space. Listen as Ben offers a sneak preview into the future of games as services. Support the show (
LiveOps isn’t just for mobile games and MMOs, it’s an essential part of the console design process as well, and has been for a very long time. Hamish Young, Sr. Technical Designer at Avalanche Studios, has been a producer and designer in the games industry for over a decade, and has plenty of wisdom to share. Listen as James and Crystin discover just how many of the top ten tenets of LiveOps apply across all game types, console very much included.Support the show (
Are you nourishing innovation? Or are you killing creativity by shutting down out-there ideas? Brett Nowak, creator of Liquid and Grit, the leading product research company in mobile gaming, is here to inspire you to up-level your studio through a balance of risk-taking and solid product planning. Support the show (
Today we’re talking with Rich Vogel, who coined the term “live operations” to let his team know they weren’t just doing “maintenance” any more, and who, in addition to writing the first Community Manager job description, discovered the secret to great community management: hire theatre majors!Support the show (
Game narrative is far more than just words and cinematic sequences. In this week’s episode, award-winning narrative director Tom Abernathy lays out for us how narrative functions within games, and why it’s so much more important, and omnipresent, than most people realize. Support the show (
Striking a balance between engagement and appeasement can be tricky. Happily, Tim Nixon, Director of Online Experience at ThatGameCompany, has some very actionable advice to share on how to construct effective live events, how to acknowledge player feedback without becoming reactionary, and where to focus your energy. Support the show (
Today we are joined by Jason Coleman, founder and CEO of Sparkypants, specializing in Long-Play, Cross-Platform Strategy Games. Listen as Jason explains how the roles of Developers, Players and Publishers have changed in this brave new LiveOps world. Support the show (
We’ve all heard the dire news of the death of PC Gaming. And Mobile Gaming. And even Gaming itself. Happily, though, reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated. In this, our second episode of season two, LiveOps veteran and eSports innovator Demetri Detsaridis explains why there will always be a market for a wide range of game types, why you should be innovating instead of following the crowd, and how to keep your eyes on the games industry meta-trends.Support the show (
To help you on your LiveOps journey we have filled season 2 with valuable lessons, perspectives, and disaster stories.  In each episode we sit down with game creators from across the industry working at the cutting edge of LiveOps.  These interviews will provide you with the information you need to start implementing a LiveOps mindset within your studio and/or game. Support the show (
LiveOps: it’s not just for games anymore! Season Two kicks off with a bang as Andrea Doyon shares his insights on how to make use of a great LiveOps tool stack not just to give flexibility and autonomy to game designers, but to advertisers, marketers, and so much more. Make sure you never miss an episode! Subscribe on SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, BuzzSprout, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Support the show (
This week we talk with Daniel McLaren, a LiveOps Designer with decades of industry experience.  Tune in and hear about his experiences and how LiveOps has evolved through the years. Support the show (
Join us as we chat with Jerry Hook, Head of Design for Halo Infinite at 343 Industries on the latest episode of The Art of LiveOps! Support the show (
Today we are joined by Torfi Olafsson, the game director for Minecraft Earth.  Listen as he shares and talks about his experiences working on online and MMO games since 1999.  Support the show (
Turn 10: Jennifer Lane

Turn 10: Jennifer Lane


Join James and Crystin as they talk with Jennifer Lane, a design director at Turn 10.  Hear about her experiences working on the console focused franchise, Forza, and how she helped the team make the transition from traditional boxed products to live games. Support the show (
Linsey Murdock joins us today from ArenaNet where she is the Lead Game Designer for Living World working on the Guild Wars franchise.  As a LiveOps veteran Linsey brings a unique perspective and discusses how game narratives meet live games. Support the show (
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