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 83: Why is Blizzard bleeding users? (Earnings Show)

It’s our first earnings show of the quarter! Activision posts record revenue, but Blizzard is bleeding users. Zynga posts its own record revenue, but also losses. Things are going...

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Episode 82: Epic vs. Apple: The Fight for Your Money (News Show)

Lawsuits are good for two things: making lawyers rich and learning about the super secretive game industry. We break down all of the interesting learnings from the court case....

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Episode 81: Is Time Finally Running Out for Loot Boxes? (News Show)

The conversation around loot boxes is heating up again, with EA at the center. Also: Explaining the TriplePoint Video Game Stock Index, Sony and Microsoft earnings, and the GDC...

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Episode 80: CDProjekt’s ‘Ship Now, Apologize Later’ Strategy Worked… Sorta (News Show)

CDProjekt shipped a broken Cyberpunk 2077, hoping that consumers would just… take it. Now, investors are upset and consumer sentiment is in the toilet. The financial impact? Not as...

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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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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.

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