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 89: E3 is a State of Mind

It’s been a wild week of gaming announcements, with standout moments from large publishers and small indie teams. In our VE3 wrap-up, we discuss the trends that stand out...

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Episode 88: Oh dear god, it’s E3… sort of. (News Show)

CD Projekt is feeling the pinch after Cyberpunk 2077’s disastrous launch. Also: Sony puts more shape around its console and PC strategy, Capcom under fire for alleged copyright infringement,...

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Episode 87: GameStop is getting into NFTs and we want to die (News Show)

Sony’s IR Day has revealed more of the company’s strategy, successes, and shortcomings. We also discuss the “SteamPal” report, PAX Online scaled back (and more realistic) pricing, updates on...

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Episode 86: Is Warner Bros Interactive Headed for an M&A Feeding Frenzy? (News Show)

The news of WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery has left questions about WB Interactive. Some studios are reportedly staying with AT&T (which wants out of original content), and we don’t...

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Episode 85: Buckle up for EARNINGSPALOOZA! (Earnings Show)

It’s our biggest earnings show ever, as we cover 12 different companies. Don’t worry, though. We’re also introducing Financial Quick Hits. Up this week: Paradox, Ubisoft, Digital Bros., Roblox,...

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Episode 84: ‘Stadia is Alive and Well’ and Other Optimistic Thoughts (News Show)

Google is doing everything it can to convince developers not to give up on working with Stadia, but is it enough? Also: Epic v Apple Week 2, Gree exerts...

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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

Explaining the TriplePoint Video Game Stock Index

This week, TriplePoint PR announced a partnership with S&P Dow Jones to launch a video game industry stock index (INDEXCME: GAMER). With GameStonk™ shining a light on the financial...

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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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