Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.

OpenFeint has hired a game development leader to help its customers focus on making free-to-play mobile games.

The move reflects the growing importance of free-to-play, the business model where users play for free and can purchase virtual goods with real money.

Burlingame, Calif.-based OpenFeint has hired Ethan Fassett, a former Playdom executive with expertise in free-to-play Facebook games. Fassett will lead the development of next-generation social networking features with distribution channels for free-to-play developers.

OpenFeint, which was purchased in April for $104 million by Japan’s Gree, makes tools that developers can use to make their games more social. The company’s tools are used by 6,000 games on Android and the iPhone, with a total of 90 million players for those games.


GamesBeat Summit 2023

Join the GamesBeat community for our virtual day and on-demand content! You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.

Register Here

Fassett will be senior vice president for product at OpenFeint. He will help develop new communications and player acquisition features for OpenFeint’s platform.

“We’re very excited to bring on Ethan, whose expertise in free-to-play games and social communities will drive product strategy and shape the evolution of the network,” said Jason Citron, CEO of OpenFeint. “Ethan truly understands social games, the social networks they need to be successful, and the tools game developers need to properly engage and monetize their players.”

The move is similar to one by Flurry, the mobile analytics and recommendation firm, which recently hired game developer Jason Valadares to lead its efforts with developers. Fassett worked on games such as Market Street at Playdom. He also worked at Gaia Online.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive game technologies and business models at our third annual GamesBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the disruptive trends in the mobile games market. GamesBeat is co-located with our MobileBeat 2011conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at Our sponsors include Qualcomm, Flurry, Greystripe, Nexage, Tapjoy, Fun Mobility, TriNet, Zong, Sibblingz, Open Feint, Spil Games and WildTangent.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.