Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
Throughout his time as an online video creator, Matt Magnone has turned his hard-won quarters into internet gold. Magnone is the star of the Matt3756 YouTube channel, on which he shares his play sessions on classic arcade games like claw machines and coin pushers. Magnone is not just a smiley creator with a vibrant personality; he’s also a skilled arcade gamer who knows how to earn a large number of tickets. That strong combination of attributes has led the way to one million subscribers, so we talked to Magnone about his digital career:
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers on YouTube? What do you have to say to your fans?
Matt Magnone: I never thought I’d have any kind of major following let alone one million subscribers on YouTube. It’s amazing and I want to say a big thanks to all of my fans. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am at. Fans are always first in my book and I try and give back to them as much as I can and stay humble.
TF: What is your history with arcade games?
MM: I’ve been obsessed with those arcade claw machines with the stuffed animals inside ever since I was a little kid. I found at a young age I was also particularly good at arcade games where you can win tickets that required skill and timing. I bought my first full size claw machine around age 16 because I was so obsessed and that’s what eventually led to the growth of my YouTube channel years later.
TF: In a world dominated by video games, why do you think people should still get excited about a trip to the arcade?
MM: Arcades always give the thrill of being able to win actual physical prizes – that’s why the claw machine has enthralled me and still does to this day. Even the ticket rewards and jackpots you get after playing an arcade ticket game for example, is something that video games can’t emulate.
TF: What do you think is a common misconception people have about arcade gaming?
MM: A lot of people generalize and think all arcade games and claw machines are rigged. Fact of the matter is, there is plenty of skill in a lot of these games that the casual player doesn’t realize. People like me who are obsessed with arcades take the time to study the game, how it works, and in what ways it can be beat — or what the player can do to get an advantage. It’s like people who count cards in Vegas!
Claw machines are usually the games that get the worst rap. While yes, there are claw games out there that are “rigged” to where the claw only grabs full strength after so many plays, there are still plenty of claw machines out there that are actually 100% skill based because they grab at the same strength every time. It’s therefore up to the player to go for the right prizes in the best positions in order to maximize a win.
TF: Which arcade game is your personal favorite and why?
MM: I’d have to say the claw machine. It’s one of the few games that the player can actually win a physical prize from right in the moment — that’s enthralled me since I first played one. The concept of the game is so simple, but at the same time it’s a very challenging game. I don’t play for the value of the prize — I play for the thrill of winning.
TF: What is the competitive arcade scene like? Have you participated in many competitions yourself?
MM: I just started getting into pinball recently. Like arcade ticket games and claw machines, there is skill to pinball, which I am still learning. But it’s a fun, 3D, physical game, unlike 2D video games, and that’s why I think pinball and arcades in general are awesome and why people enjoy them so much.
TF: In your videos, do you focus more on displaying your skills or your personality?
MM: I like to just be myself on YouTube, I’ve always kept it that way. I think personality is more important than showing skills. You can have a person with amazing skills but if they don’t have the right personality, people aren’t going to stick around for years and continue to watch them. I’ve been fortunate to have fans that stick around for many years and still enjoy my videos to this day, and I tribute a lot of that to just being genuine and being myself all of these years.
TF: Given your prowess with arcade games, have you ever thought of designing one yourself?
MM: I have thought about this and now that I’ve connected with some of the companies that actually make arcade games, I’ve loved giving them suggestions on how to improve their current games. I think playing them so long and seeing which ones do well, I feel I’d be able to design a pretty sweet game that many arcades would want to buy and people would want to play.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
MM: I hope to travel more and get to different arcades around the country and just keep networking and making connections. I’ve recently expanded my videos to include things like mini golf play and carnival games, which people seem to love – so I hope to keep expanding with fresh ideas while staying within the niche of my channel.