YouTube’s community of gamers, especially those who make videos that fall under the “Let’s Play” genre, can be a huge marketing asset for up-and-coming developers. Some video games, such as Day-Z, have received millions of sales thanks to their popularity on the internet.
How much impact does just one Let’s Play video have? When that video comes from YouTube’s most-subscribed channel, game makers sometimes see six figures as a result. The New York Times recently published a piece about video game developers and designers who use “YouTube as an accelerant. Among other anecdotes, the Grey Lady cited Ryan Clark, who estimated that YouTube star Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg’s playthrough of his game Crypt of the Necrodancer ultimately catalyzed more than $100,000 in sales.
In a 2015 video, Kjellberg booted up Crypt of the Necrodancer and navigated the game’s dungeons, which require the player to stay in beat with the soundtrack. The affable (if controversial) Swede seemed to enjoy his time with the game, and when he was done with it, he posted a video to his channel (which currently has more than 57 million subscribers) with the title “AMAZING RHYTHM GAME!”
His fans responded by picking up copies of Crypt of the Necrodancer for themselves. Clark told the New York Times that he believes the PewDiePie video generated about $60,000 in sales on its own. In addition, several other YouTubers decided to check out the game after seeing Kjellberg play it, and Clark estimated that this “halo effect” pushed his PewDiePie sales up above $100,000.
If you were curious why game companies are so eager to get their titles in front of YouTubers, the example of Crypt of the Necrodancer provides a compelling case study. For additional anecdotes about games that have prospered thanks to their popularity on the internet, check out the New York Times‘ report.