YouTube is full of amazing content from unique content creators. The platform is full of musicians, comedians, and beauty gurus, but some of the most successful and popular YouTube channels belong to gamers. These channels have millions of subscribers and billions of views, so it's safe to say that they have a huge impact on gaming in general. A few games in particular have gone from cult hits to international successes thanks to the attention they get from popular channels.
- Is YouTube The Next Step In Entertainment?
- 10 Amazing Video Games That Would Be Even Better In VR
- Earth's Mightiest YouTubers: An Avengers Fan-Cast
10. Prop Hunt
Prop Hunt is a game found inside Garry's Mod (which you can find on Steam), which is pretty much hide-and-go-seek with shape-shifting and guns. Sounds fun huh? YouTubers seem to think so. Channels like VanossGaming, Markiplier, and SeaNanners all come back for episodes every couple of months for competitive matches with fellow YouTubers that are packed with hours and hours of humor.
Even though these YouTubers tend to play on closed servers, fans still download the game to have some fun with their own friends. With the vast amount of maps and props in the game, Prop Hunt serves as a great online party game to play, and without YouTubers' playthroughs, a lot of us gamers might not have known about the game.
9. Happy Wheels
The overly-bloody and extremely entertaining game of Happy Wheels is well-known to gamers and non-gamers alike. I personally remember loads of people playing the game in the library and in computer labs when it was released during high school, and the popular playthroughs of various YouTubers has only made the game's popularity grow.
The holy trinity of Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, and Pewdiepie all have series' of the game that started off years ago, and they are still going strong. Since the game is online and it adds the bonus of player-created levels, it keeps gamers coming back year after year for new experiences. And every time a popular YouTuber plays a level, that makes the audience want to play the same, which brings thousands and thousands of YouTube fans to the site.
You can play the game for yourself here!
I know what you're going to say, and I agree. Minecraft was already hugely popular before YouTubers started playing. Why wouldn't it be? It's original, it's fun, it promotes creativity, and it can provide countless hours of gameplay with randomly-generated terrain. Even though it had quite a following early-on, that following sky-rocketed as soon as it hit YouTube.
Believe it or not, there are YouTube channels based mainly on Minecraft. CaptainSparklez has over 9 million subscribers. Sky Does Minecraft and TheDiamondMinecart both have over 12 million. All three owe their success largely to Minecraft. Other large channels also have hundreds of episodes on the game, such as Markiplier's "Drunk Minecraft" series and Smosh Games' "Maricraft." Both series are extremely popular on their respective channels, which has helped gamers jump into Minecraft more to try and recreate the joy that they get from watching the videos.
Agar.io is a browser-based game that lets you play as a little colored dot. In the game, you devour smaller dots until your mass grows larger and larger. If that wasn't enough, the game is all online, which means that hundreds of other players try to hunt you down to add you to their collective mass. The game is very addictive in its simplicity, which drew a lot of gamers, including YouTube gamers.
Pewdiepie, Markiplier, and Jacksepticeye all played multiple episodes of the game, and since the game allows you to share what server you're playing on, they've been able to play matches with hundreds of their fans. All of the attention to the simple browser game made it successful enough to get its own app that was released on all mobile devices.
You can play the game for yourself here!
6. Super Mario Maker
You'd think that a Mario game wouldn't need a whole lot of publicity to get some recognition. Sure, a fair amount of people bought the game when it first came out, but after some of YouTuber's biggest gamers (Like Markiplier and the Game Grumps) started playing, a huge gaming audience bought the game so that they could play the same levels or make their own.
The Game Grumps in particular have a 132-part (and counting) series on the game, with an average of about a million views per part. Not to mention that Ross, one of the members of the Grumps team, has created some of the highest-rated courses in the entire game. With the mechanics of the game that let YouTubers play levels made by their fans, it's almost like the game was made for YouTube gamers.
5. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
The horror game genre is plentiful, with games like Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within seeing plenty of play-time on YouTube (plus another one that you'll see farther down on the list). However, there is one game in particular that not only was played on YouTube, it launched some popular channels into the success that they have now.
Take Pewdiepie for example. Six years ago, his channel was still in its growing phase, but his playthrough of Amnesia: The Dark Descent gained a lot of attention. The first episode of his playthrough is currently sitting at 1.7 million views, and each following episode claims hundreds of thousands of clicks. This marked the beginning of Pewdiepie's rise to the most subscribed YouTuber on the platform with a massive 48 million subscribers. Now gamers galore are going back to the terrifying horror game to experience the game that launched YouTubers forward.
4. Life Is Strange
If you know anything about the game Until Dawn, think of Life Is Strange in roughly the same manner. The game is centered around choice, with the consequences of each choice weighing greatly in the following story. Unlike Until Dawn, Life Is Strange includes a mechanic that reverses time, so you can attempt to fix your mistakes and discover new dialogue options.
Even though the game was made by Square Enix, it started off as a lesser-known cult hit. That was until the YouTubers got their hands on the game. Both the Game Theorists and Felicia Day (who you might know from The Guild and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) both scored thousands of views off of the game. After their audiences saw all of the trying twists and turns of the game, they were eager to go out and try their hand with Max and Chloe's fate.
3. Slender: The Eight Pages
When I first heard about Slender, it wasn't from a gamer. Actually, it was from a group of girls who didn't play many video games. They were talking about some creature called "Slender Man," who was a tall, faceless man dressed in a suit who would appear in fog. They were all creeped out by the figure, and I had to take to the Internet to learn its origins.
The character originated from a forum, but the obsession with the character came to a peak in 2012, when Slender Man starred in the game Slender: The Eight Pages. It was around that time that Slender Man became a viral internet meme. Channels like Smosh Games and Markiplier showcased their fear, gaining enough attention to make the character even more popular. Still today, Slender Man is known as a staple in the horror game genre.
Just when you think that the only games that make it big on YouTube are horror or rage games, a game like Undertale comes along. Undertale is a delightful and intelligent RPG that took the internet by surprise in late 2015. The game mixed in just the right amount of humor and compelling gameplay to gather the attention of a few YouTubers.
The games's combat system gives you the option of resolving conflicts peacefully, or you and slice and dice any monster that you come across. These pacifist and genocide options leave different YouTubers the opportunity to play it their way, and then the viewers always had the option of buying the game tho check out the other options. Thanks to YouTubers like Jacksepticeye in particular, Undertale went from an indie kickstarter game to a frequent topic of conversation when it comes to choice-driven games.
1. Five Nights At Freddy's
In August of 2014, an indie horror game was released called Five Night's At Freddy's. The game took an interesting spin on the horror genre by having the player unable to move throughout their environment. You would only have security cameras and door controls to attempt to stave off murderous Chucky Cheese-esque animatronics.
Now fast forward about two years, and it's hard to find a gamer that doesn't know all about this game. Actually make that four games. And a RPG spin-off. And a book. And an upcoming movie. And crazy amounts of merchandise found in any Gamestop and Hot Topic. The once-small game has blown-up into an international sensation, and that is due greatly to the plethora of YouTubers who have played the game.
Take any popular YouTube Gamer that you've ever heard of. Pewdiepie, MatPat, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, The Game Grumps, Rooster Teeth, they all showcased the games to millions to fans. Markiplier's first episode of the game scored a whopping 52 million views! Combine that with the 14 million from Pewdiepie and an additional 8 million from Jacksepticeye. That's about 75 million viewers just for the first episode of their playthroughs.
I'm sure many of these games would have had cult followings or marginal success regardless of internet exposure, but there is no denying that YouTube gamers have advanced the popularity of these games substantially. YouTube as a platform is still growing in popularity as well, so expect many more games like Five Nights At Freddy's and Undertale to pop up soon!