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Isaac Knowles's Blog   Expert Blogs


I am a PhD student at Indiana University (working under Edward Castronova), as well as a staff economist at Scientific Revenue. My academic and professional work focus on the study and analysis of the video game industry, game economies, game systems, and consumer/player behavior. I also occasionally consult with game developers and publishers on the analysis and structure of virtual economies. 

My research agenda can be found here. My LinkedIn profile is here. I also blog semi-regularly for Motivate.Play.

Feel free to get in touch with me at


Expert Blogs

Posted by Isaac Knowles on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 04:32:00 EST in
ESO's switch to F2P gives more ammo to the consensus view that subscription models have gone (or should go) the way of the dodo. I suspect we'll continue to see them Not because publishers are stupid, but because they are smart.

Summary of interview with Chris Ryan, professor of operations research at Chicago's Booth School. Business school faculty are starting to take notice of the game industry, but is the industry ready for them?

Posted by Isaac Knowles on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 02:24:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Smartphone/Tablet
Scott Rigby and Troy Skinner discussed some ways that mobile designers can help players meet their entertainment needs by publishing games that fit easily into their busy lives.

Dmitri Williams is a prolific games scholar. Now he's taken his expertise to market as CEO of game analytics firm Ninja Metrics. This post contains the text of an interview I did with Williams earlier this month. Cross-posted at

Posted by Isaac Knowles on Tue, 17 Sep 2013 03:46:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Console/PC
It's time to take a hard look at some of the criticisms leveled against the subscription revenue model. It may not be as bad as some of us think.

Posted by Isaac Knowles on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 11:38:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Social/Online
Multiplayer games are restricting trade with increasing frequency. This reduces the cost of economic management, but it also means you lose valuable information. It also creates an opportunity for a new revenue stream.

Isaac Knowles's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/21/2015 - 04:32]

Fair enough. Generally speaking, when ...

Fair enough. Generally speaking, when I 've read comments and blog posts that were critical of subscriptions, they have taken a position similar to what was expressed in the Forbes article I linked at the end of my post. Subs were criticized as dumb business moves, and the inevitable switch ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/20/2015 - 11:39]

Hi, Karen, r n r ...

Hi, Karen, r n r nThanks for taking the time to respond. r n r n this data does not provide any evidence that crunch has a positive effect on project success, even when correcting for bad management etc. r n r nI 'm close to buying that as an ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/09/2015 - 01:32]

Yea I agree, and it ...

Yea I agree, and it seems like a major reason for extended open betas is to give devs the opportunity to use predictive and explanatory analytics to fine-tune the product, while avoiding the charge of having released a broken game .

Comment In: [Blog - 12/16/2014 - 03:05]

Got it I understand now. ...

Got it I understand now. Thanks r n r nLooking forward to the remaining posts.

Comment In: [News - 11/05/2014 - 06:10]

At the risk of stepping ...

At the risk of stepping into this debate, has anyone actually read the original study The authors perform some fairly sophisticated transformations on the data in order to examine the relationship between violent crime and video games. But when it comes down to it, it is a purely correlational analysis. ...

Comment In: [News - 08/18/2014 - 05:07]

At least part of this ...

At least part of this increase must be a delayed response to the VAT tax increase in 2011. Initially they charged 8.99, 17.5 or 1.57 of which went to the UK government. The tax rises to 20 in 2011, which is an additional 23p of revenues lost to taxes. Comparing ...