Last September, I wrote about a popular YouTube personality that brought back Skate 3, one of the games I worked on, back into the spotlight. Felix Kjellberg, better known as Pewdiepie, recorded himself playing our game. At the time, I also explained that he probably gained several millions dollars in the previous year from shared ad revenue with Google. A Swedish newspaper has now stated Kjellberg made $7.4M USD in calendar year 2014. Combined with his earnings in 2013 alone, he is without a doubt a very rich man.
To put into perspective how much money he makes doing what he does, consider this: Kjellberg made more than probably 99% of the developers of the games he recorded himself playing. I don’t know if he made any GTA V videos but I’m guessing if he did, it would be one of the very few rare games when one or two people (the Houser brothers) on the development side made more than $7.4M. In fact, in some cases, some of his videos probably earned him more revenue than the actual total sales of the game he was playing.
If you allow yourself to get riled up that a dude became a millionaire by filming himself playing video games, you’re liable to make yourself go crazy. I don’t begrudge Kjellberg. He found a way to make himself a lot of money in a very unique way. It used to be that you only got rich by being in business. If he had been born twenty years ago, he might have missed his window as the technology just didn’t allow for millionaires like him.
Pewdiepie will without a doubt will make several more millions in 2015 and I hope he makes his fans happy while doing it.