Former YouTube Gaming Giant Machinima Closes Its Doors
The iconic YouTube gaming channel Machinima, which launched on the video site in 2006, is officially shutting down; laying off 81 employees and making a ton of its video content private.
Machinima, the company that helped popularize gaming on YouTube in the website’s earliest days is officially shutting its doors. In the process of this shutdown, 81 employees will be laid off. On top of all that, a multitude of YouTube series on the channel has been set to private, making them completely inaccessible to viewers and their original creators.
This news is obviously extra upsetting if you had followed the media company during YouTube’s glory days as a new up-and-coming site. Machinima began its journey on YouTube on January 16, 2006, 13 years ago. For a long while, it was one of the biggest channels on YouTube, getting millions of views and subscribers every single month. Currently, the channel sits at nearly 12.4 million subscribers.
I personally have very fond memories watching Adam Kovic, who’s now a part of Rooster Teeth’s Funhaus, on Inside Gaming for years. The channel also produced a ton of unique and hilarious videos in its earlier days like Counter-Strike For Kids. I was also a big fan of the live-action Mortal Kombat series (which I totally forgot about until writing this article). They also worked on other live-action series for games like Halo and Street Fighter. It was really a solid place that cultivated a ton of unique content for a multitude of gamers.
The shutdown doesn’t seem all too surprising, as Machinima really went off the radar for some time a few years ago. Back in 2014, the company came under fire for giving the Xbox One positive coverage without disclosing the fact that Microsoft was paying them to do so. As I’m sure many of you know, it’s pretty standard nowadays for outlets and content creators (especially in gaming) to disclose these types of deals to their readership and viewers.
Machinima had launched in 2000 as a place for video game content creators. In 2018, AT&T moved the company under their Otter Media brand, which is made up of other companies like VRV and Crunchyroll. Some employees who have not been laid off will be moved to other branches of Otter Media. In a statement to Kotaku, a representative from Otter Media said:
We are focused on creating new content with the Machinima team, which will be distributed on new channels to be announced in the coming months. In the meantime the Machinima network of creator channels continues to showcase the talents of the network. As part of this focus on new content, we have pivoted from distributing content on a handful of legacy operated channels.
Of course, we hope that all of those affected by these layoffs will be able to land on their feet sooner rather than later. Hopefully, all of the content on that channel does not go to waste and can be uploaded elsewhere so it’s not lost to history.