The Business of Video Games Podcast

Welcome to the Business of Video Games Podcast. A podcast where we try to shed a bit of light on the inner workings of the games industry. We give you the why, how, who and what the hell?! on business decisions, publishing calls, steps and missteps that go on behind the scenes. Basically - the inside view on how and why things are ACTUALLY done the way they are. Not just guesswork on 4Chan. The podcast is hosted by Daniel Goldberg (former Chief Marketing officer at Paradox Interactive) and Shams Jorjani (former Chief Business Development Officer at Paradox Interactive). In every episode, we invite a guest from the industry to unpack an interesting decision or event, share their learnings and wisdoms, or just explain why all of us armchair experts got things wrong (or right!) again. We previously hosted and ran the Paradox Interactive Podcast for some 4 years - you can find those episodes on most podcast platforms of note.

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Episodes

Wednesday Jun 05, 2024

We return yet again to our home base this season - Indie publisher Hooded Horse. They recently release Manor Lords and it was a roaring success selling over 2M copies in less than 3 weeks. We talk to their CEO Tim Bender and Chief Marketing Officer Abhishek Chaudhry to understand what went right, wrong and what the team would do differently.
 
Find Manor Lords here https://store.steampowered.com/app/1363080/Manor_Lords/
And follow Hooded Horse here: https://x.com/HoodedHorseInc
 
 

Thursday May 16, 2024

Times are grim in the games industry - at least they are if you're running a business looking for money. But there's light at the end of the tunnel! We think. The trick is just to survive until Gandalf comes riding back with backup. To discuss how to survive until 2025 when things might look better we invited Robert Bäckström - ex Fatshark, Raw Fury and much more to talk about survival strategies for game developers.
 
Visit Aurora Punks here: https://www.aurorapunks.com/
And Robert here: https://twitter.com/aurora_punker

Thursday May 02, 2024

We're back with another episode in the series where we explore the book - "Up, Down, Up - Why some game companies succeed while others fail" written by Kim Nordström. This time we talk about the growth phase of the companies journey. We delve into what characterizes this phase and how the focus of companies change during this phase. We talk about crazy concepts such as "Culture transfer rate" and other tricks of the dark arts.
You can find more info on it here: https://updownupbook.com/

Thursday Apr 18, 2024

In this episode we had a chat with Astrid Refstrup - CEO of Tripletopping and now in charge of Developer Relation & Business Development at the games fund WINGS who invest in gender marginalized teams. Astrid shares war stories and we talk about WINGS modus operandi. We try to figure out how one balances business excellence with idealistic goals.
You can find Wings and their application process here: 
Wings: https://wingsfund.me/https://wingsfund.me/apply/And Astrid can be reached here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/astrid-mie-refstrup-344969136/https://twitter.com/Astridmrefstrup

Friday Apr 05, 2024

We're back with another episode in the series where we explore the book - "Up, Down, Up - Why some game companies succeed while others fail" written by Kim Nordström. This time we talk about the startup phase of the companies journey. Kim shares insights and takeaways from other companies that mastered and flubbed this critical phase.
You can find more info on it here: https://updownupbook.com/

Friday Mar 22, 2024

In this extra long interview I had the privilege of talking to the illustrious leader of Finji - makers of Canabalt, Overland, Tunic and many more fun games. We delve into the details and get a good understanding of why Finji - being an artist centric developer - has managed to also build and grow as a business successfully over the years.
Finji makes some truly magical games - which you can find here: https://finji.co/
Rebekah can be found here: https://twitter.com/BexSaltsman 

Wednesday Mar 06, 2024

We return yet again to Hooded Horse for a Q&A episode - but almost immediately things go off the rails. The idea was to pepper the CEO of Hooded Horse Tim Bender with dozens of questions from the community - but instead we barely got past the 3rd question thanks to Tim's insightful answers and ensuing discussion. Take out your notepads for this one kids.
Send us more questions to attack Tim with in the future.Visit https://hoodedhorse.com/
and find their games here: https://store.steampowered.com/publisher/HoodedHorse
 

Thursday Feb 22, 2024

How do you make the most out of a trip to the annual Game Developers Conference if you're starting out in the industry or generally want to up your game? In this episode we invited Fernando Rizo back to the show to talk about how to get the most out of a GDC (Game Developers Conference) show attendance. If you're Phil Spencer this episode isn't for you - but you might still enjoy it Phil.
GDC is one of the business development highlights of the year and it's hard to navigate if you haven't been there before - we demystify the whole process and save you a buck or two.
Visit Caboodle here https://www.caboodle.games/
Fernando can be pestered on twitter: https://twitter.com/choomsky 

Thursday Feb 15, 2024

This is the first episode of a multipart series where we talk to Kim Nordström, alumni of Sony, King, Paradox Interactive and other companies who's written an exciting book called Up, Down, Up - The Journey of a Successful Game Company. 
It's a must read for anyone interested in the business side of things in the industry. So no surprise then that we will cover the book over a number of episodes this season.
Kim has gone through the herculean effort of interviewing hundreds of business leaders in the games industry to understand why some game companies succeed while others fail.  You can find more info on it here: https://updownupbook.com/

Wednesday Jan 31, 2024

We return to the scene of (my) crime by having Sebastian Forsström from Paradox Interactive come visit us to talk about their newest publishing label Paradox Arc. Why does it exist, how is it different from the rest of the company and how do they operate? And we get to the heart of the matter - how does a big company innovate?
 
Visit Paradox Arc here: https://www.paradoxinteractive.com/our-games/paradox-arc
and bother Sebastian here: https://twitter.com/SebastianFo 

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The Business Of Video Games

This is the podcast where we shine a bit of light on the soft underbelly of the video games industry. Where we try to figure out what the hell were people thinking when they made decisions and hopefully become better at running games businesses ourselves.

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