Los Angeles based Machinima has burst onto the gaming and entertainment scenes with a tremendous and loyal following. Regular gamers – people playing at home in their living rooms – are the backbone of this huge video channel. Gamers such as “google atari breakout” are bringing a whole new form of fun entertainment to the masses.
Curtis “The Spaz Gamer” and his son love video games. While dad is an admittedly weak player, and son routinely routs him, the bond they share while enjoying this mutually satisfying and fun form of entertainment is something they both cherish.
Recently, the pair noticed the existence of gaming “commentary videos” on YouTube. These videos demonstrated the skills of very adept and slick gamers – mostly from the first-person shooter genre -annihilating their competition. The father-son duo was hooked. After watching and enjoying these videos together, Curtis suggested to his son that they make some videos, only from the perspective of a poor player (himself). The rest, as they say, is history.
The pair were recently partnered at “Machinima”, or more specifically, the “Respawn” arm of this wildly successful LA-based company. Machinima is an online video channel that has become one of the largest, most viewed video destinations on the Internet. Partnering with Machinima has allowed Curtis & Son to “monetize” their videos by allowing Machinima to place ads on their content. Machinima then pay the duo a share of that advertising money. (Specifics on how much partners are paid is hugely confidential, but none of the partners seems to be complaining.)
The Machinima game plan seems to have been executed to perfection. They have many millions of loyal viewers, and they host content from video makers all over the world.
Curtis and son were astonished when they first learned they could actually be paid for their videos. Curtis explained in a recent interview. “We love playing games, mostly (Call of Duty) Black Ops and we thought it’d be a fun time sharing how bad I am with the Internet world.”
The pair caught on quickly with YouTube viewers, and after less than 3 months online, caught the eye of Machinima, who offered them a partnership with their Respawn brand; the action/shooter game unit.
Curtis and Son, though, have no dreams of riches from their videos. “I’m comfortable in admitting that I like money,” Curtis deadpanned, “but the truth is, we didn’t plan on making money when we started this, so even if the guys at Machinima hadn’t been nice enough to bring us on board, we’d still be making videos and having a great time.”
When asked about the amount of work that goes into making the videos, Curtis rated it as “None”. “There’s no ‘work’ involved,” he explained. “Everything about this is fun for us. Especially the community we’ve built. It’s a blast answering people’s posts on our vids, hanging out with them at Facebook and on PlayStation and XBox. We have a great time with the whole social atmosphere of it all.”
This business model certainly seems to be working well for Machinima, and for Curtis and Son, the experience seems to be fulfilling, even if they never make a cent. “I’m getting old – even though my wife says I never matured beyond about 14,” he explains. “So someday, when my son is out in the real world, married with kids and daily life stuff, we will always have these videos to look back on and enjoy and reminisce over…”
My kid’ll probably have to wipe my drool here and there while we’re playing, but maybe that will make him have a little mercy on me and let me win once.”