YouTube reviewer Videogamedunkey wants to sell games too

Image of a cartoon donkey in a business suit sitting in front of a pink background.

The biggest criticism in games is publishing. Jason “videogamedunkey” Gastrow announced in his the latest video on YouTube that he and his wife, Leah Gastrow, she will run a new independent label called Bigmode dedicated to discovering and evangelizing the best games yet to be made. “I’m sick of sitting on the sidelines waiting for great games to show up,” said YouTuber. “Now I want to get there and help make it happen.”

Gastrow is far and far the most dominant YouTuber When it comes to game reviews, polished videos containing a mix of repeated gags and harsh opinions consistently garner millions of views. Now he says he wants to spend years trying to taste and channel them to help new independent projects stand out in the current “sea of ​​mediocrity”. As examples of what it is looking for, it cites some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed indie games in recent years, such as Enter the Gungeon, Celesteand Hades.

What exactly will Gastrow posting the game? The YouTuber doesn’t go into many details, but says Bigmode contracts will be the most developer-friendly and won’t restrict your creative freedom. “I’m not looking for creative control over your games, but I want to get involved in it,” he said. The video preview ends with a call to developers and studios to go to the Bigmode website and share their projects and portfolio.

It is not uncommon for great personalities of players to collaborate on individual games and even commission them as part of the overall promotion of their brand. The comedy game channel Game Grumps went into development earlier with the release dating simulator dream dad in 2017. But the launch of an entire publishing company isn’t a spin-off, and the space is already full of other established players as the indie game scene has exploded over the past decade.

Typically, publishers help finance the development of the game and pay for its distribution, marketing, and other logistical needs in exchange for cutting off any revenue generated by the game. Often only after the initial costs of selling games have been paid, the original developers are starting to see any profitwhich could take days, weeks or years depending on the success of the game.

One of the things Gastrow is promising is that the financial incentives associated with his new business venture will not distort or weaken the reputation of his gaming channel. YouTube reviewers have long been promoting themselves as fearless and uncompromising voices who are under no obligation to anyone but their audience. The subtext is that the opinions they share are genuine, while everyone else is false. This is certainly one of the messages in Gastrow’s announcement.

“For gamers who really gamble and have an interest in video games, my channel is where they come to find out what’s really worth playing, and I want all players in the market to know that I would never risk my channel’s legitimacy. some junk video games I don’t believe in, ”he said. Of course figuring out which game will be next Cuphead and who will be just another junk cheat in the early stages of development is very different from pointing out that the latest sequel to the blockbuster it’s broken and boring.

Gastrow goes on to say that his films will remain mostly fun and lighthearted, and serious and striking when needed, and that Bigmod will be a “harmonious” continuation of that ethos. We’ll see how that ambition diminishes as the label’s first game is released.

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