Virtual Economy: The Business of Games for the Rest of Us​

The game industry is complex and, you know what, it’s also kind of daunting to learn if you don’t know where to start. Michael Futter and Amanda Farough take those complexities and make them far more accessible, even for folks that don’t work in games. 

If you’re curious about the underpinnings of how video games get made, where the money comes from, and what it all means… we’ve got one heck of a podcast for you.

Recent Episodes

Catch up on the most recent episodes of Virtual Economy here. We’ve also included sources and our show notes for easy reference. 

Episode 79: Epic Games Store isn’t Bleeding Out (News Show)

Apple wants the court to believe Epic is hemorrhaging money, but cherry-picked legal filings don’t tell the whole story. Also: NPD report for March 2021, Activision at War with...

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Episode 78: Discord, Twitch, Trust and Safety (News Show)

Discord and Twitch are both grappling with the responsibility to keep their platforms safe after usership jumped during the pandemic. Also: 505 Games earnings (and Death Stranding’s strong PC...

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Episode 77: Why MLB The Show is on Game Pass on Opening Day (News Show)

Microsoft made waves with a big Game Pass announcement that has rankled some consumers. Also: Sony’s storefront closures, Activision’s right-wing hires, CD Projekt changes course, E3’s failed attempt to...

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Episode 76: Discord’s Playing the Dating Game for $10 Billion (News Show)

Multiple reports put Discord in talks with Microsoft and others. We also review GameStop’s earnings, Sony’s stunning silence on a report that it’s closing three digital storefronts, Majesco’s return...

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Episode 75: Activision is laying people off… in this economy. (News Show)

Activision is posting record quarters. Its CEO has been awarded approximately $200 million in bonuses. The company just laid off at least 50 people in the middle of a...

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Episode 74: What Happens When a Developer DMCAs Their Own Game? (News Show)

The legal fight between Frogwares and Nacon over The Sinking City is getting ugly with allegations of theft and hacking. Also: Reports of the mythical Switch Pro resurface, Epic...

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The Hosts of Virtual Economy

Michael Futter

Michael Futter

Show Host & Research
Mike has spent more than a decade in the video game industry as a critic and journalist. In 2013, he joined Game Informer as news editor, covering business and legal stories. After leaving in 2016, he teamed up with Bithell Games to author The GameDev Business Handbook and The GameDev Budgeting Handbook, designed to help demystify foundational business concepts for those starting their own studios.

He has since been freelancing for Polygon, Variety, GameDaily, and GamesBeat on timely business topics while also leveraging his experience to help independent developers with business strategy and pitching. Mike has also worked with AAA developers and publishers on pre-announcement strategy, messaging, and trade show presentation preparation. He has also completed a number of mock previews and reviews.
Amanda Farough

Amanda Farough

Show Host & Producer
Amanda has spent much of the last ten years running businesses, making websites, and writing about video games… usually within a few hours of one another. She’s a dedicated speaker with over a decade of experience and has presented/moderated at a variety of conferences, including GamesBeat Summit, Playcrafting’s Women in Games event, GameDaily Connect, PAX East/West, and a smattering of small business, digital marketing, and branding conferences.

These days, Amanda is the co-host of the Virtual Economy podcast, mama at Ready Player Mom (and part of the Radically Kind Gamers stream team) on Twitch, business & entertainment writer, and co-host on the Engaged Family Gaming podcast. Amanda also holds a seat on the board of directors at Hit Save! (a video game preservation nonprofit) as Director of Communications.

Latest Articles

Epic’s Game Store ‘Losses’ Don’t Tell the Whole Story

What is the difference between “losing money” and “investing?” That’s one question the courts will be examining when Epic’s antitrust suit against Apple goes to trial next month. And...

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CD Projekt’s Pretty Words are Nothing Without Meaningful Culture Change

CDProjekt Red, despite its parent-company’s status as a public traded corporation, has often been lauded by fans as the scrappy little studio that could. The studio behind the celebrated...

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What PAX Online Must Improve in its Second Year

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on nearly every industry. And while video game makers have largely benefitted from being the only entertainment medium perfectly suited for lockdown, adjacent...

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Beyond Tom Nook: Reflecting on Animal Crossing One Year Later

A year after Animal Crossing: New Horizons' launch, we examine the cultural zeitgeist and business implications of the game's incredible successes.

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Discord Wants to Tie the $10 Billion Knot, But Which Suitor is Best?

Reports indicate Discord is looking for a buyer. We look at the potential suitors and how those relationships might look.

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2020’s Biggest Trends … and Where They’re Heading in 2021

Each year, we take a moment to reflect on the trends that defined the past year and what we expect from the coming 12 months.

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