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This Ex-League Of Legends YouTube Content Creator Is Starting His Own Indie Publishing Firm
Kakuchopurei readers may be familiar with one YouTube content creator Jason Yevgeniy Gastrow, better known as VideogameDunkey (or just Dunkey). After being in the League of Legends content-making game for so long, he ended up pivoting towards general gaming content, focusing on indie titles that stand out along with a number of potshots at big triple-A titles and the games journalism media at one point.
So what’s next for the big guy? How about an indie game publishing company? Dunkey has announced on his channel that he is opening up a company called Bigmode, a “passionate voice for quality, originality, and fun in indie games”.
Here’s what excites us in a game!
-Passion & artistry
-Devs with a clear, strong vision
-Devs with deep gaming experience & understandingWe believe quality & originality should be supported— Bigmode is a unique & powerful way for great indie games to stand out in a crowded space, and our publishing contracts are designed to be the most developer-friendly possible!I’ve been on YouTube for 11 years now, and one of the core themes of my channel has always been to slam dunk soulless cash grabs into the garbage can and lift up and praise the truly inspired works of art in this medium.”
While we do wish Dunkey and his wife Leah all the best in making this publishing company work, there is no clear evidence that he is knee-deep in the video games industry apart from playing a ton of games, making lots of content for 11 years, and garnering millions of subscribers.
As a content creator and critic, he’s legitimate. As a person publishing titles? This is brand-new territory for him; it’s clear as day that his main strength is PR and marketing (to an extent), with more focus on the former. A lot of people online from developers to content creators have taken umbrage at this call to action.
Here's the thing: I like dunkey a lot. I probably watch his Death Stranding video once a month; I keep coming back to the Balan Wonderworld one, too. He's funny and when he's not just dunking on stuff I think he has good critical instincts.
— Chris Schilling: Valhalla (@schillingc) September 22, 2022
lol dunkey starting a publishing company with the ethos "i have played so many games i know what makes them good and bad so i will only publish good ones" about to learn some stuff the hard way
— Mixolumia ? on Switch now! ? (@davemakes) September 22, 2022
hey man I respect Dunkey for trying to start a publishing business and wish him & his partner the best, but for fuck sake lads it’s 2022 – we gotta drop the naive shtick that having opinions on games is a qualification for understanding just about anything about development.
— danny o'dwyer (@dannyodwyer) September 22, 2022
As someone who has worked in a few video game companies for a number of years, talking and championing games as an influencer is a completely different ball game than being active in game development and publishing from start to finish. Yes, there are good case studies where critics and writers can eventually make their own games (GameSpot’s Greg Kasavin and Supergiant), but this sort of ballsy move raises more questions than answers. Where’s the funding coming from (apart from YT revenue)? Why should indie developers put their faith in a content creator with little to no game publishing experience? Does Bigmode have its own in-house publishing experts they should disclose?
Still, we’d give them the benefit of the doubt and wish the duo of Dunkey and Leah the best of luck, as well as respect and support for this bold new venture.