Plays Media LLC
Hey I actually remembered to follow-up on a topic idea for once!
So before the plans and ideas leak from my memory forever, here was my idea for Plays Media LLC. I need to preface this and point out that this idea was born, developed, and abandoned in the span of about a few months way back when Rob Plays That Game was still pretty new.
See back then the channel was 100% video gaming related. By that point I had gotten back into Minecraft and even started to do videos on MC Magic, but I wasn't doing the regular Minecraft Disney World series yet and so at that point there wasn't even an inkling of thought in my mind that I might one day be focused 100% on Disney content.
I loved making Let's Plays, I was watching channels like Funhaus, and I generally believed that if I was going to get anywhere on YouTube, it would be within that realm. Sure, I was a Disney fan and I had read a lot about Disney, but gaming was my passion. It still is a little bit, but mostly from a leisure perspective. I've seen and heard enough about all aspects of the industry that I think I'm content with just having fun playing games.
So like most Let's Players at the time, I had dreams of growing really large as a channel and making a living by making fun videos about games. However where most people stop at the "working alone" and "making tons of money" part of the dream, I kept going. I didn't just want to make a living from it. I wanted to build a media company out of it, but one that would be a total gaming hippy commune.
Christine at this point was expressing some interest in eventually getting back into YouTube, and I was encouraging it every so often when it came up. Meanwhile my good friend Ben, who I had worked with at Howcast and who worked on Howcast Gaming with me, had just moved out to California and was still looking for a steady job. So he too, expressed interest in picking up YouTube as a side hobby.
From there, my delusions of grandeur began. I thought to myself "wouldn't it be cool if they named their channels 'Christine Plays That Game' and 'Ben Plays That Game'?" We would be an unofficial network of sorts. Each person retaining complete control of their own channel and keeping all of their earnings, but everyone cross pollinating each others content and growing together as channels.
We would each have our specialties. I was (and still am) a big fan of the third-person open world games. Know all those cliche Ubisoft titles everyone complains about? I eat those games up. Christine is a big horror game fan, which is a genre I generally don't touch. Ben loved his Nintendo 3DS, and handheld games in general. I even had hopes of getting my best friend Steve involved somehow. I didn't think he'd want to have and run a whole channel, but he was no stranger to YouTube videos and had an eclectic taste in indie games and RTS games. It was the kind of variety and spread in content that would make for a perfect well-rounded group.
Obviously it would only be a matter of time until we all blew up in the gaming scene and amassed millions of subscribers. Clearly we would all get to quit our day jobs and make producing content a fun full time career.
I feel like even here is where a normal person would stop with the dreaming, but I kept going.
After hearing so many stories about PewDiePie and these other gaming creators making millions of dollars a year, I realized that for as insanely rare it is, there are people doing this who could afford more than one home.
So then, wouldn't it be awesome to buy a dedicated house that we could all use as a shared production space? Rooms setup for green screen recording. Rooms decked out for gameplay recording. Shared edit bays. Even a VO booth or two. Just everything you'd need to produce content, plus plenty of shared space to hang out.
Now it turns out homes like this do, in fact, exist. They're called offices. I don't know why my daydreams of media conquest involved buying a house to work in instead of an office, but I suspect it's because I live in NYC and hate commuting. The idea of literally living in a house next to a fun work house was so much better and less "official" than driving out to an office.
I'm not crazy though. I knew then, as I know now, that none of this was ever really going to happen. It'd be a struggle enough for one of us to grow enough on YouTube to make a living out of it, let alone 3+ of us and on a scale that would allow growth like that.
At the time I felt too silly about all of this to mention it much, but today I look back at it without embarrassment. It was just my daydream. Some people dream about what they'd do if they won the lottery or got their dream home. For me, it was dreaming about my career: Living near my best friends, working with them in a space that felt more like a home than a workplace, and doing something rewarding and fun.
Ultimately Ben would start a gaming channel called Broviatt Plays That Game. I even let him use part of my logo for his. He did want to focus on handheld games after all. At a time when the custom mods to record a Nintendo 3DS were still pricey, he built a custom rig to record his 3DS screen. He ended up creating nine videos for the channel before he'd get a full-time job that ended up being more than full-time.
Christine, obviously, also got back into YouTube with IvyWinter. Similarly, she also managed this gaming/Disney split for a while before moving over into mostly Disney.
So Plays Media LLC never happened, but it never was going to anyway. What I realized is that it didn't have to. I might not physically live close to all of my friends, but we're still close. It's why I'll gladly stay up until 3 in the morning playing PUBG with them. I do get to work with Christine on content regularly, and I get to do it from my office which is definitely not an actual office.
All that was left was the final part of that dream, which was doing it for a living. Here we are. I might not be able to do it forever, but for now I'm grateful that I'm getting to live out my own little altered version of Plays Media.
The money and grandeur isn't there, but the important parts are.