Virtual Economy

Virtual Economy

The business of video games can be complicated. In each episode of Virtual Economy, hosts Amanda Farough and Michael Futter break down the biggest business news in the video game industry, feature expert commentary, and highlight up-and-coming indie projects.

Episodes

July 24, 2021 116 min

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 decide how to handle the suit with Blizzard and Activision Publishing leadership expressing shock and remorse while GOP corporate hires blast the suit and the state for standing up for non-male employees.

Content Warning: Sexual Harassment, Suicide fr...

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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 Gear.”

You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:20] - NPD for June 2021
  • [00:09:18] - Remedy and 505 renew their deal for more Control games
  • [00:15:29] - Konami signs development deals with Tencen...
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    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 and a huge number of studio openings.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:03:37] - Investment Interlude
  • [00:32:44] - Quick Hits
  • SOURCES

  • GAMING GAMING INDUSTRY UPDATE (Drake Star Partners)
  • Ta...
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    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 West returns without vaccination requirements, Microsoft details Windows 11.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:00] - Comparing Activision and EA executive compensation
  • [00:21:10] -...
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    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 loot box as regulators scrutinize in-game monetization.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:37] - Insomniac proves you can make a great game without crunching
  • [00:05:50] - An update on alleg...
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    June 18, 2021 69 min

    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 and the biggest takeaways, including Game Pass, wholesome games, and whether The ESA needs to get out of the way.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

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    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, and the first of our E3 2021 discussions.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:03] - CD Projekt is feeling the pinch of Cyberpunk 2077’s disastrous launch
  • [00:08:09] - Capcom is be...
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    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 some stories from last week, and GameStop getting into NFTs. Ew.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:02:00] - Update on Take-Two and The Outer Worlds
  • [00:05:01] - Update on Netflix’s...
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    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 know yet if Discovery has any interest in staying in the games business. We could be looking at an M&A feeding frenzy for WBIE’s 11 owned studios in the coming months. Also: Take-Two and Embracer earnings, Twitch PR stumbles, and the last w...

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    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, Starbreeze, Bandai Namco, Unity, Remedy, Konami, EA, Square Enix, Sega.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at Ko-Fi.com/Virtual Economy.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:00]: Paradox Earnings
  • [00:07:05]: Ubisoft Earnings
  • [00:16:55]: Fina...
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    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 patent power in $100m court win, E3 Online starts to take shape, Embracer gobbles up four more studios, and more.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:00:57]: Epic v Apple Week 2
  • [00:11:20]: Gree v Supercell Ruling
  • [00:15:...
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    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 pretty well at both Nintendo and Capcom, as both check in with huge jumps in revenue and profit.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at Ko-Fi.com/VirtualEconomy.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:39]: Activision Blizzard Q1 FY21 Earnings
  • [00:16:59]: Ca...
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    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. Also, Sony is facing a class action lawsuit over its digital game code policy, Tencent is negotiating to keep its US game investments, M&A Minute, and more.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/virtualeconomy

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00...
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    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 State of the Industry report. 

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at Ko-Fi.com/VirtualEconomy.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:49] - TriplePoint Video Game Stock Index
  • [00:11:10] - Microsoft Q3 FY21 Earnings
  • [00:18:26] - Sony Q4 GY20 Earnings
  • [00:25:36] ...
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    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 bad as it could have been. Also: a flurry of Microsoft announcements, Epic’s game store expansion, and Humble’s step back from charity.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at Ko-Fi.com/VirtualEconomy.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:02:15] - Microsoft...
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    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 Warzone.com, the latest stats for all the major streaming platforms, M&A minute, and more.

    You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi at Ko-Fi.com/Virtual Economy.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:16] - Activision vs. Warzone.com Trademark Dispute
  • [00:14:49...
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    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 performance), E3’s thin roster, and Nexus.gg’s creator-curated marketplaces.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:21] - E3 2021 plans start to emerge
  • [00:07:43] - Nexus.gg teams up with Path of Exile for creature curated micro transactions
  • [00:13:35] - M&A Mi...
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    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 get member publishers to agree to paywalled content, and PAX Online replaces PAX East (and what must happened to fix last year’s failure).

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:00:53] - Following up on Sony’s decision around PS3, PSP, and Vita storefront...
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    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 to retail, and more.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:02:18] - Sony is reportedly set to shutdown PS3, PSP, and Vita digital storefronts
  • [00:09:23] - Sony staffing reorganization
  • [00:11:52] - M&A Minute(s)
  • [00:20:04] - Quick Hits
  • [00:33:26] - Majesco re...
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    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 pandemic. Also: EA’s FIFA Ultimate Team problem, Riot’s CEO cleared of harassment allegations, a ton of M&A news, and more.

    TIME STAMPS

  • [00:01:52] - Microsoft and Bethesda close $7.5B deal with comments on the future
  • [00:11:50] - Sony becomes co-owner of EVO fighti...
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