Youtuber Videogamedunkey Launches Indie Publishing Company
Jason "videogamedunkey" Gastrow has been in the YouTube circuit for over a decade and has amassed 7M+ channel subscribers. He's wielded his internet fame to uplift-- or dunk, depending— hundreds of indies across the years, claiming to have helped put millions of eyes on "truly inspired work(s) of art" indie games. Now he's looking to roll up his sleeves and help publish indies, stating: "I’m sick of sitting on the sidelines waiting for great games to appear. I want to get in there and help make it happen." You can watch his company BIGMODE's announcement video here.
Dunkey has maintained that he would not let his publishing business compromise what he talks about on his channel. “I want all of the real deal gamers out there to know that I would never risk the legitimacy of my channel to push some junk-ass video games I don’t believe in... I want BIGMODE to act as my seal of approval, which is something I do not apply lightly.” Dunkey has also promised creators that BIGMODE has worked to make “the most developer-friendly contracts possible” and used his announcement video as a call to apply for publication on BIGMODE's website.
This isn't the first time (nor last time) a popular games YouTuber has gone on to use their influence in the industry— look at GameGrumps and their dating simulator "Dream Daddy.” While Dunkey's goal of bringing more attention to quality indies out of a "sea of mediocrity" seems well-intentioned, others are not convinced. Throughout his video, Dunkey cites his years as a videogame critic as a basis for knowing what games are genuinely innovative and interesting— but the process of publishing a game is vastly different than critiquing one, a fact many industry commentators were quick to make. Others have shared in Dunkey's optimism and hope that his influence and audience will help launch some promising titles. It goes without saying that the indie games scene has exploded over the past decade-- will a new publishing arm help lift quality games above the masses or will BIGMODE be yet another voice in the choir? Let me know your thoughts below!