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December 11, 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 - 11/29/2018 - 03:53]

The Self Regulation train left ...

The Self Regulation train left the station in 2013 at the ICPEN summit in Panama. There the Vice President of Disney urged the international regulatory body to trust industry to self-regulate , right after my presentation showing exactly what that would look like with one of Disney 's own products ...

Comment In: [News - 11/15/2018 - 03:58]

And then we had this ...

And then we had this incredible department we work with -- which I won t go into too much detail about because we don t want to give away all of our tactics that we have in combating toxicity -- we felt like there was a an opportunity. r n ...

Comment In: [News - 11/06/2018 - 04:03]

I 've been doing design ...

I 've been doing design work on games, almost all MMO 's, since at least 2000. To my knowledge the only company to ever credit me was Nexon with a special thanks for the 18 months I worked on Shattered Galaxy. Even on projects where I was the highest paid ...

Comment In: [News - 10/01/2018 - 06:30]

I got SWATted in 1990 ...

I got SWATted in 1990 in Phoenix coming back from a Native tribal protection action. Apparently someone really didn 't like that I was trying to protect some Native elders who just happened to have the misfortune of living on top of uranium deposits. Having 17 police officers swarm into ...

Comment In: [News - 10/02/2018 - 04:01]

I was an alpha tester ...

I was an alpha tester for EVE, and the richest individual player for the first four months after launch. I was the first to build all the large Minmatar ships. I 've had a lot of time to think about how to improve EVE since 2003. I 've long had ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/21/2018 - 09:44]

Loot boxes work because they ...

Loot boxes work because they stimulate dopamine release, even before the box is opened. All consumables that trigger dopamine release in consumers are addictive over time. This includes opiates and sugar also. Sugar actually kills a lot more people than opiates due to obesity effects but both are epidemic in ...