We’re going to try something a little different this afternoon. Some of Ars’ highest-performing YouTube videos have focused on gaming topics—like how designers created Dead Space‘s grab-tentacle or how Amnesia: The Dark Descent tricks players into terrifying themselves (though we’ve also done well with non-gaming topics, like exploring the phenomenon of flat earthers and even interviewing famous NASA people).
Which leads us to Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach. He runs one of the most popular gaming channels on YouTube, with (currently) just a hair under 25 million subscribers.
The Condé mothership informed us late last month that they had gotten some time with Markiplier and wanted to know if we were interested in filming something with him—and we took the plunge. Markiplier has a loud personality and is best known for his mugging at the camera while doing “Let’s Play” videos on jump-scare games, but we wanted to see if we could capture a calmer, more introspective Markiplier than most folks might be used to seeing, looking over the past several years of the YouTube content creator landscape and discussing his successes—and his not-so-successes. It’s an interesting glimpse into a world that a lot of regular Ars readers (myself included) might not be that familiar with—an alternate reality of content creation, where YouTube comments actually matter and trying to figure out how to maintain engagement is critical to success.
Markiplier comes across as a well-grounded guy—and he maintains a powerful connection to the fans who put him where he is. He clearly enjoys taking a trip down memory lane and looking at the videos and comments that built his present-day juggernaut channel, and I have to admit it’s pretty wild watching him talk without any shouting.
And what’s next?
Though this video sets the stage for some more (and more Ars-focused) celebrities to pop up on camera, our next couple of videos will be a little more old-school. We’re almost ready to run a War Stories piece on a certain cyan-colored publishing house, and just this week we had a developer in the studio to shoot a video on what I would describe as a princely classic game.
You’ll have to live with my obfuscations for another week or so, but trust me: awesome things are coming!