Digital media has grown so much in the last 15 years that obtaining a Journalism degree and climbing the ranks of the notoriously competitive print media is la practice that’s all but dying out. Now, anyone with access to the internet can become a reviewer, and if their material is amusing or clever enough they can become almost overnight successes in their own rights.
The popularity of Youtube has spawned a sub-genre in the world of critiquing. In the case of these five individuals, they have all created a substantially large niche in this unusual realm of video game commenting. Gaming fanatics review video games, while displaying their gameplay and typically injecting a dose of satirical humor and irreverent style. These five individuals have all made a living by creating vlogs and Youtube channels that have garnered them recognition not only in the gamer community but on a broader level as comedians and commentators. They’ve gone from commenting on a few dozen videos, to a few thousand, while selling their humor and insight and building up a brand-name for themselves. A few have even been hired by larger, multi-channel organizations.
The gamers on this list are making a living from the income generated by things like sponsorship, YouTube ad revenue and endorsements. These guys, who make up five of the most popular Video Game Commentators on Youtube at the time of writing, are literally being paid to play video games – and not even competitively! Their popularity is based on the number of subscribers the individual channels have acquired.
5. TheSyndicateProject 7.1 million subscribers
Tom Cassell, known for his youtube channel and persona Tom Syndicate of TheSyndicateProject, is a 20 year old British gaming reporter and video blogger or vlogger. His channel was launched on 3rd September 2010, and it rapidly became one of the most recognized gaming channels on Youtube, with in excess of 5 million endorsers of date. The channel was initially based on Halo and Modern Warfare 2 gameplay features but began to open up when he the arrival of Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies and Grand Theft Auto IV came out. He has most recently branched out into a larger variety of games and genres. Tom is number 33 on the most subscribed Youtubers list, and like many YouTube entrepreneurs he divides his time between the UK and Los Angeles. Cassell attracted media attention in his native England when he left school and his job to pursue his Youtubing gig fulltime.
4. Roosterteeth 7.2 million subscribers
Geoff Ramsey created the site for Rooster Teeth as a production studio and multi-channel network located in Austin, Texas, specializing in the creation of live action shorts, animated pieces and film using real-time, interactive engines from video games.
Ramsey is one of the voices for Red vs. Blue, a popular Halo-based series which debuted in 2003. From that point forward, he’s become a gaming community VIP, normally showing up at assemblies like PAX and Comic-Con. In 2008, Ramsey began Achievement Hunter, another bureau of Rooster Teeth Productions. The site is run by Ramsey and partner Jack Pattillo; they normally release accomplishment guides, Easter eggs and other game- related features. The Youtube channel averages just over 7.2 million subscribers and multiple channels covers a vast array of gaming culture. Though Ramsey’s Roosterteeth empire can become a little muddy when discussing individual achievements – there’s a wide team involved in the channel and the websites these days – the channel has remained faithfully his, never losing the personal touches that Ramsey has always added to his irreverent and humorous videos.
3. CaptainSparklez 7.8 million subscribers
CaptainSparklez is an alias for Jordan Maron who primarily makes parodies using the video game, Minecraft. Known for his easy and laid-back editorial style and commentary, Sparklez is positioned 49th in Youtube endorsers and has an excess of 356 million video views in total. He’s perhaps most famous for his Minecraft parodies where he changes the lyrics of a popular song to fit into the world of Minecraft. Additionally, his channel has gameplay features for Left 4 Dead 2, Portal, and Call of Duty.
Maron created a niche market from his passion and love for a single game but knew that he had to diversify and expand his market if he wanted to continue to grow. This is one clear case in which an individual capitalized largely on a video game’s popularity and expanded it into a Youtube mini-empire. Topping many lists as a fan favorite among PC gamers, Maron is indeed a Captain in gaming channels.
2. SkyDoesMinecraft 9.4 million subscribers
Youtuber, gamer, blogger and Minecraft enthusiast (in case you hadn’t noticed, there seems to be quite a lot of Minecraft love on Youtube) Adam Dahlberg was a founding member and organizer of the well-known Minecraft group, Team Crafted. He began as an avid player of the game before tampering with the idea of a video series based on and subsequent spin-off from Minecraft. Thus the Minecraft “Let’s Play” series and SkyDoesMinecraft was born.
Dahlberg is acclaimed for play-throughs of Minecraft Custom Maps or Parkour Maps with his companions and is humorously recognized for calling gold “butter” and detesting the Minecraft “squids”, as he calls them. With over 9 million subscribers, SkyDoesMinecraft is currently the nineteenth most-subscribed channel on Youtube and is one of the quickest developing gaming channels on the web. Dahlberg currently resides in California and continues to post his Minecraft-related videos daily, showing no signs of stopping and continuing to be a fan favorite among gamers. Adam “SkyDoesMinecraft” Dahlberg has cornered a very popular market of gaming landing him the accolade of one of the digital world’s favourite gamers.
1. PewDiePie 25 million subscribers
Born Felix Kjellberg, the 24 year old now has over 25 million Youtube subscribers with an average video view of around 7 million. Felix dropped out of the Chalmers University of Technology to focus on his Youtube career. This Swedish PC and console gamer records his responses and reactions during gameplay and turns them into humorous and sometimes surreal video blogs and reviews.
PewDiePie launched his Youtube profile on the 29th of April, 2010, and is presently known as one of the quickest developing diverts in Youtube. He alludes to his fanbase as his “Bros” and the ‘Bro Army’, a nickname that alludes to the masculine-centric, bravado-filled video game culture. His incredibly influential channel now falls under the purview of gaming network Polaris.
Kjellberg, now a multi-millionaire thanks in large part to his YouTube channel, supports several charity organizations with his new-found influence. PewDiePie is by far one of the most popular video game commentator on the web, let alone Youtube, and his is currently the fastest growing Youtube channel in the world. He shows no signs of stopping and continues to make partnerships and additional ventures in the world of gaming with his unwavering individuality and entrepreneurial spirit.