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Machinima Goes Dark
By Anorak • 1 year ago • 4 comments

A YouTube Gaming legend is lost

As of January 18th 2019, the entertainment network Machinima, Inc. has put all of their YouTube videos to private.
The move comes without prior notice, catching the channel's current creators unawares, as they received emails telling them their contracts would either be moved to Fullscreen or simply dropped.

Machinima was recently acquired by Otter Media (a division of AT&T and WarnerMedia), who has plans to merge the content into its current library. Rumors abound that the videos will be kept offline due to the issues with sorting out copyright.

Funhaus's Lawrance Sonntag quoted on a live stream regarding the videos "Warner, at this point, cannot verify the copyrights to all videos in Machinima's network -- and there are a ton of videos," he says. "It'd cost a lot of money to do it, and this is on videos that aren't getting any views. So, they cut it loose. That's that. It's a business. That's how it goes, man."

Sonntag was one of the key members of Machinima’s Inside Gaming group. He and other important members left the series in 2015 to be quickly picked up to run their current spiritual successor in Rooster Teeth's Funhaus channel. Both Funhaus and Machinima are now owned at the top level by Otter Media. Some old Inside Gaming content has even recently shown up on Funhaus's live program Funhaus TV.

It should be noted that at time of writing many series that were big features on Machinima are still watchable through Amazon Prime Video, adding credence that the merger will simply choose videos easily repackageable and distribute them elsewhere.


How did we get here?

Machinima, even now, boasts over 12 million subscribers. It is a common place name to almost anyone who follows gaming on YouTube.
So how did such a titan of the industry get here? Well the company was not without it's miss steps.


The biggest and most well documented problem was their relationship with their partners. Many creators found the MCM had poor communication or would hold money they would make on their content. Advertising on videos was poorly communicated and many a creator would part ways with them on bad terms.

Machinima had multiple cases of poor advertising deals:


They partnered with jeans company, Levi’s, in such a lucrative deal it was set to be their only sponsorship for that year. The deal was canceled however after Levi’s found a video by then Machinima partner, and current number one subscribed channel, PewDiePie, that had him mentioning rape in the opening minutes. With the deal dead Machinima was out a large amount of money and began attempting to force partners to take pay cuts to recoup losses.

In 2014 partners were used to market the Xbox One in a partnership with Microsoft. Partners were asked to "not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its games" as well as keep the promotion itself confidential. This poor move led Machinima to have to settle FTC charges for not disclosing the advertisements.


Gone, but not forgotten.

I think original Machinima ETC host RickyFTW put it best on Twitter "Wow... they finally went ahead and deleted everything we'd ever done. 7+ Years of work... lost to the sands of time."

A lot of amazing internet content and history is simply gone in its original state, but on the bright side a lot of the best and brightest from the channel live on without Machinima.



Funhaus

The old crew of Inside Gaming are now part of Rooster Teeth putting out quality gameplays and even recently bringing back the gaming news journalism that was a staple of their old content. The group didn't miss a beat in the move and have only gotten better since their Machinima work.




Machinima Respawn

The gameplay focused faces continue on their own channels with Mr.Sark, Seananners, Hutch, and APLFisher all collaborating as they did in the gameplay focused Respawn (and Inbox) days.



ETC News

Ricky and Eliot are continuing their news content over at Internet Today. The popular series from their old days continue uninterrupted.



TwoBestFriendsPlay

Unfortunately, the group known as Best Friends just recently disbanded with the individual members going on to make solo content.

But between the break up and their Machinima days, years of content was made that is fully preserved and available on their channel.



What do you think about this news? Sad to see it go? Any classic creators you want to shout out? Leave a comment!