Machinima, the popular gaming channel on YouTube, has seemingly shut down, with its content no longer accessible, and without any public announcement.
Machinima was founded in 2000, and its official YouTube channel, which was launched in 2006, has accumulated more than 12 million subscribers over the years. It remains one of the biggest gaming channels on the video-sharing platform, which is why both fans and content creators were stunned when Machinima’s entire library was set to private without warning.
Warner Bros. acquired Machinima in 2016, before AT&T acquired Warner Bros. in 2018. Machinima was then subsumed by AT&T’s multi-channel network Fullscreen, which is operated by Otter Media.
In a statement, Otter Media said that it remains focused on working with the Machinima team to create new content that will distributed on new channels over the coming months.
“In the meantime the Machinima network of creator channels continues to showcase the talents of the network. As part of this focus on new content, we have pivoted from distributing content on a handful of legacy operated channels,” Otter Media added.
The “legacy operated channels” apparently includes YouTube, though it remains unclear why the monetized videos on the platform had to be taken down.
One of the people unhappy with what happened to Machinima’s video was one of its former creators, Jeremy Azevedo.
Otter Media really just went and deleted Machinima, Happy Hour, Respawn, Realm, Prime, Inside Gaming, ETC, everything. Jesus H, what a massive kick in the dick to everyone that ever contributed to those brands. pic.twitter.com/btem0WhAys
— Jeremy Azevedo (@Dangersharkz) January 19, 2019
Another former Machinima creator, Matt Dannevik, paid tribute to the YouTube channel.
Sad to see the catalogue go. As many have already said Machinima was a special place filled with amazing people. I feel lucky to have been part of it. #RIPMachinima
— Matt Dannevik (@MattDannevik) January 19, 2019
The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media, as both fans and creators reminisce about the channel’s content and question the move to set the videos to private.
The plans for Machinima and its YouTube videos remain unclear. Since the videos were only sent to private and not deleted, there remains the possibility that Otter Media will simply flip the switch and open them up to public access again. However, fans should not get their hopes up in the absence of an official announcement.
There is no shortage of video game content, including the surge of Fortnite videos on YouTube, which Netflix views as a bigger competitor than HBO, and the influx of streamers on Twitch. However, Machinima holds a special place in gamers’ hearts, and its sudden shutdown will be remembered as one of the most disappointing moments in the history of online gaming content.