How YouTube Is Changing Gaming Forever
After all the fights over copyright infringement fell away, one of the greatest forces in gaming today emerged, and YouTube became dominated by gamers more popular than the biggest music acts. What does it mean for the future of gaming and how is the industry adapting?
Who’s more famous? PewDiePie or Cliff Bleszinski? Who is more likely to be recognised walking down the street by a group of 14-year olds, Stampy or Hideo Kojima? Only a couple of years ago such questions would have been completely ridiculous and even now they carry a faint aura of absurdity to them. The answer feels like it should obviously be the developer, but a shift has taken place in the way we consume our games and there’s a generation of players who know their gaming commentators better than the creators. YouTube is changing gaming forever.
But don’t take our word for it. When we spoke to Cliff Bleszinski about this very topic, he was the one who suggested younger gamers don’t know who he is any more. “We’ve been visible, but never underestimate the amount of ADD the world has,” he warns us. “There are plenty of people out there who know who I am, who Arjan [Brussee, Cliff’s co-founder of Boss Key Productions] is and some of the various employees here, but does your 14-year old who’s watching PewDiePie on YouTube give a shit? No. In many ways we have an established legacy, but we’re very much starting over.”
Jafari is similarly flummoxed by the question of where things will go next. “Quite honestly, I have no idea,” he admits. “This is such a transient industry right now. Everyone is trying to stage a foothold, and who knows which stone or which crevice will keep? It’s the story of human history, time and time again! It’s the ancient struggle for land and power! It’s the gold rush! It’s like that time you wished you bought Amazon stocks in the mid Nineties!”
What’s clear though is that developers are adjusting to this new force and the industry is taking note. The fears that YouTube videos would hurt the games industry like some form of soft piracy simply haven’t emerged and instead we have a new generation of opinion-makers and trend-setters having their say on what games will rise and fall. It’s a fascinating and ever-evolving new world. And, thankfully, it’s quite entertaining too.
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