Once the pioneers of gaming-related content on the internet, former multi-channel network giant Machinima suddenly wipes its video library in an instant.
Almost two decades ago, a website was made so that the Quake community could find a home for their video game footage turned into movies. Machinima became the name of cinematic art made from machine software, but over the years would become synonymous with the foundation of video game YouTube channels, bringing in talent like SeaNanners and Two Best Friends Play to make a number of different series’.
The network, in recent times, has fallen off dramatically, especially after succumbing to FTC investigations over undisclosed promotional deals for the Xbox One and creators being deadlocked into unfairly lengthy contracts. Now two years after being bought out by Warner Bros, it appears as though the axe has fallen on the YouTube channels themselves.
As noted by Ricky Hayberg aka RickyFTW on Twitter, on Friday night the Machinima network of main hub channels, as well as any YouTube content done under the Machinima name, has been removed for public consumption, with videos set to private. This includes the main page with 12 million subscribers, the Happy Hour channel with 1.3 million subs or the 1.2 million-subscribed Prime channel.
Update: A spokesperson for Otter Media sent us the following statement, as quoted below:
"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."
Though Machinima has shifted away from its former primary business as a multi-channel network acting as a middleman, that doesn’t mean that there is a hearty chunk of content that would normally be completely evaporated under this circumstance. Thankfully, many saw this day come as an inevitability, with creators such as the former Super Best Friends Play channel archiving their Machinima-branded shorter videos on Vimeo.
Still, this marks a somber moment for the nostalgia of YouTube gaming content, further solidifying the flimsy nature of creating and maintaining videos on the platform in this current day. When people who have had seven years of their work made private or deplatformed in an instant without a head’s up at a moment’s notice, the future looks grim.