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August 21, 2018
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Ramin Shokrizade's Blog   Expert Blogs


I have been passionate about studying, designing, and writing about game economies since 2000. I have a prior background in team sports, exercise physiology, neuroscience, drug addiction (both research and clinical work), and was a UCLA and Olympic trainer when my team set several world records in 1988. 

In my papers I tackle some of the more uncomfortable subjects in our industry. For this reason I was asked to advise the international regulatory body for media (the ICPEN) in Panama in 2013 during the first round of regulatory debate. This responsibility had a profound effect on my writing as I see this as a necessary, albeit perilous professionally, niche. 

Since 2014 I have been focusing my research on the development of game physiology methodology, and merging that with my previous work in game economics to create game neuroeconomics. The techniques I have developed are both powerful and (again) controversial as I seek to meet consumer needs directly instead of through trial and error.To allow me to continue writing on controversial subjects that are in the interest of the gaming industry, and to permit me to continue my private research, I tend to assist the industry as a confidential consultant. This allows me to assist some of the world's largest and most prestigious gaming companies while maintaining a firewall that protects both our interests. 

I am grateful that since 2012 the editorial staff at Gamasutra has continued to allow me to post my articles here, especially as I increasingly address issues that go beyond strict gaming applications.

For more information about me, please check my LinkedIn profile ( 

A complete list of my less recent (2010-2012) papers is here:

I also have various podcasts floating around with NPR and Josh Bycer's Game Wisdom that can be found with a Google search if you want to hear me go into more depth on various topics.



Expert Blogs

There seems to be a lot of confusion over what a game economy is, and what a game economist does. To help reduce confusion, Ramin Shokrizade creates some definitions as to what game economics is and isn't.

Posted by Ramin Shokrizade on Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:36:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Serious
Ramin identifies the two core consumer needs in IM, and suggests that by meeting those needs directly we can improve product success and consumer health. He also shows us how. Part two of a two part series.

Understanding how games and other media affect consumers on a biological level can lead to major breakthroughs in commercial success and public health. Part 1 of a 2 part series.

Ramin Shokrizade recently suggested that the technology exists to make our F2P games more consumer friendly. Here he reveals some of the methods he has created and urges developers to consider adopting them as an alternative to existing methods.

Posted by Ramin Shokrizade on Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:05:00 EST in
It's getting real over at EA with regards to consumer and regulator push back against their business models. Here Ramin Shokrizade uses Star Wars themed analogies to describe how this is a market shock, and how it will affect the entire industry.

Posted by Ramin Shokrizade on Mon, 06 Nov 2017 10:41:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Production, Serious
Recent Google and Carnegie Mellon University statistical studies have shown us what kinds of teams and employees are most successful, but statistics don't explain "why", which we need to build the teams they describe. For this we can look to neuroscience.

Ramin Shokrizade's Comments

Comment In: [News - 08/07/2018 - 05:08]

For years I 've been ...

For years I 've been responding to articles from Blizzard and RIOT discussing how they are attempting to deal with widespread toxic behavior from their players. I 've pointed out while every game has a few trolls, that this sort of widespread toxicity is a product of game design. For ...

Comment In: [News - 08/08/2018 - 10:53]

While that seems like an ...

While that seems like an impressive number, companies always like to talk about revenue when discussing the performance of their mobile products. But user acquisition costs are so high that many games with high revenue values are actually generating negative net revenue. If a company offers up their revenue numbers ...

Comment In: [News - 07/18/2018 - 05:46]

This sort of thing was ...

This sort of thing was very easy to do during the golden age of MMO 's, when IGE was acting as a massive black market for real money transfers into and out of virtual worlds. I even mentioned that this had national security implications in my PhD applications back in ...

Comment In: [News - 07/10/2018 - 04:16]

The barriers to exit for ...

The barriers to exit for employees are very low... r n r nWhen barriers to entry to enter jobs are high, it 's very hard to get a job. When barriers to getting a job are low, it 's easy to get a job. When barriers to exit are low, ...

Comment In: [News - 07/09/2018 - 07:52]

I have a big mouth, ...

I have a big mouth, as many of you know. I 've been using it since I started as an online gaming journalist in 2001. Once I became a developer, things were different. Most large studios have a policy where absolutely no one is allowed to talk to the customers, ...

Comment In: [News - 06/22/2018 - 02:48]

I produced 100 pages of ...

I produced 100 pages of models/algorithms for a Western AAA game in 2012 that was being produced at a 3rd party studio in Korea, that was working on their own project. The AAA game got canceled but an economy that appeared based on my models ended being added to the ...