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 95: Activision Blizzard Leadership Has Failed (News Show)

Activision Blizzard leadership continues to fail in its response to the California DFEH lawsuit and its own employees. Ubisoft employees are renewing their demands for change and a seat...

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Episode 94: The State of California v Activision Blizzard (News Show)

Activision Blizzard has perpetuated a culture of sexual harassment and pay discrimination for years, according to a lawsuit filed by the State of California. The company can’t seem to...

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Episode 93: Steam Deck, SWOLED, and Other Nonsense Words (News Show)

Big deals, new hardware, and a lot of platform chat fill our second episode this weekend. Highlights: Google’s pay-for-play plan, Sony drawing indie ire, Switch OLED, and the “Gabe...

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Episode 92: It’s Time For Quick Hits! (News Show)

We’re back and we missed you! In our first of two episodes this weekend, we’re covering a ton of acquisitions, investments, and quick hits. Highlights include: Sony’s spending blitz...

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Episode 91: Revenge of PAX Pox (News Show)

Revenge of Pax Pox (News Show): Activision shareholders narrowly approve Bobby Kotick’s pay package, while EA makes significant changes after last year’s failed Say on Pay vote. Also: PAX...

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Episode 90: Bobby Kotick is Paid too Much (News Show)

That’s right! We’re talking about absurd executive compensation again! Also: Roblox is facing a $200 million music infringement suit, GameStop hires a new CEO, and EA pilots a new...

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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 DICE Conversations, 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 a Take This ambassador for 2021) 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

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CDProjekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 Failure Cost More Than Just Money

CDProjekt bet that most consumers wouldn’t go through the effort of refunding the broken and disappointing Cyberpunk 2077. They were right. In the company’s recently released financial report for...

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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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