Economics Designer Economics designers have a fairly straightforward duty in the realm of video game design: They design the financial system within games. From the rupees that Link collected in Zelda to the ability to buy land in Second Life, economies have been a pivotal part of many games; it is the responsibility of economics designers to see that these economies are viable, fair, and entertaining for the gamer. In recent years, game economies have become increasingly important, with games like World of Warcraft and other massive multiplayer online role-playing games giving gamers endless options to explore expansive worlds, complete with monetary systems and methods of exchange and commerce. An economics designer sets the values for in-game items and services through tactics such as only releasing a limited amount of goods, or making them available only at a certain time; constantly creating new goods that gamers can aspire to at different levels; creating “wear and tear” on items, so gamers have to replace them; creating secondary markets for in-game goods and services where players can trade among themselves; creating auction houses; preventing possible fraud; and employing other strategies that rely heavily on real-world economic principles.
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