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  1. @BanditSE1977 Game Economics Defined (gamedeveloper.com) Spawning a new thread so as it went tangent on the other thread. The article is long but I like the end bits: “We are looking for an Excel wizard!” This is a pretty common skill set, especially with accountants. Not really relevant to game economy design. Save some money and get a game accountant or just someone who knows Excel and train them up. If they are super fast with Excel you can have one inexpensive Excel tech do the spreadsheet updates for several designers. This would free them up to do...design. Note that as a journalist I do a lot of writing, but no one cares if I “live and breath Windows Word”. It's not the app that makes the writer, it is the words that go into the app. In much the same way, it's not about Excel (yes I realize Gameloft started giving Excel exams for their Game Economist positions in 2011, I took one in 2011), it's about being able to design economies. “We have all this data but don't know what to do with it.” This is sort of putting the cart behind the horse. Computers aren't smart enough to design games without us yet, and when they are we will be unemployed. This situation only requires a game economist if the data is from a game economy. Usually it isn't because there is no game economy. If your studio is suffering from Data Bloat then hiring another data person is just going to make the problem worse. You need someone trained to understand gamer consumer behavior. Ideally you want a game physiologist if you are ready to make the leap to physiologically driven design (PDD) because without knowing why games work (or don't work) you will be forced to speculate. Just to be extra clear: statisticians and data scientists are trained to collect and organize data, not interpret it. For that you need a domain expert (also called a subject matter expert) related to your question. Without a domain expert your BI team is crippled. To my knowledge the only studio that operates with a domain expert currently is RIOT, and they may have more than one (since they use PDD). A domain expert is going to have an enormous amount of published articles proving that. Raph Koster would be an archetypal example in gaming, and unless you take the PDD shortcut (which still takes a decade) it takes decades to train a domain expert. HMMM... Sounds very familiar regarding a very familiar game and their use of spreadshits.
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