Hello, my name is Tony, and I know you must be thinking that I don’t have a lot to say with such a small channel, but you might be surprised. You see, I’ve actually had multiple channels that have done somewhat good and helped contribute to others who are now well known. During these last few years of doing it I’ve made some good friends, but at the same time more enemies. If I knew before I started making videos that it would be such a cut throat business I probably would have passed on it, but like a junkie, I enjoy my fix. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so I want to start back at the beginning.
It was around June of 2011 when a friend of mine was looking for someone to do something with gaming. At the time I didn’t know that much about YouTube and I still am not an avid watcher of it. I know people may think that is crazy with me having my own channel, but I never cared for the YouTube gaming world. I don’t like to watch people play games because I want to experience it for myself. However, with my friend Charlie, it seemed like a good idea. Charlie was from the UK and I am here in the US. I don’t think we ever believed that it was going to get us money or we would have a large viewership from it, but something did happen in our favor.
The channel started out as LVItoHeathrowGaming and that name was something of a side project he was doing, but since it didn’t really fit us we later called it VGMMDI or Video Games Made Me Do It. After a few months we partnered with Machinma, or Charlie had told me, but I’ll get to that later. With all the achievements and walkthroughs everything was going slow, until October 2011 came along. That was when Batman Akrham City came out, and for some reason I wanted to do a Riddler Trophy guide. There were over 400 of them, and since at the time I was jobless I thought fuck it, why not. Well, they became huge! I did nine of them and Charlie did two and they grew into the hundreds of thousands and that had Machima sending us an email to become one of their partnered channels. Yeah, that was the first lie from Charlie. I had found it funny when he said weeks before that we were with Machinima, but when I asked to see the email he said he was going to take care of it. We never were at that time and were using their logo and intro to gain viewership. I looked past it though because I was very excited at the fact we were going to be getting paid to play video games.
After months of doing this together we started to grow in viewership on the channel, we had our own website made with a few writers and we picked up two people with the channel named Bryan and Fernando. But, mistakes started to be made. I didn’t like the direction that Charlie was taking the channel, and found out he was stealing material and putting it on the website. That was a very unpleasant experience I had with Kotaku and the original artist of a certain picture. I still tried to look past it with Charlie being my friend, but family members, friends and people we worked with were telling me Charlie was bad news, and to quit. When I confronted Charlie on a few matters he became offensive telling me I did nothing for the channel or website even though at the time I was doing all I could while trying to find a job and helping my wife who was any second away from giving birth to my second child. It was at that time I decided I wanted to leave.
Bryan and Fernando wanted to come with me, so we deleted the videos that we had done for the channel and walked away from it. They wanted to delete the entire thing, but I didn’t think it would have been fair because Charlie did do a lot of work on that channel, and it wouldn’t have been right. I signed over my contract with Machinima to Charlie and just took the name along with the website.
There are some days I wonder what Charlie is up to. I don’t consider him a bad person or anything like that, but he did betray my trust while insulting me, so I knew I couldn’t be his friend anymore. I do wish him the best of whatever it is he is doing with his life, but sadly, he is just a chapter in my life I had to close. The next day I started the new channel VGMMDI with Bryan and Fernando which opened up more success and problems.
Having a few thousand people following you with millions of views and then losing them all can make you feel like crap. When we started the new VGMMDI we had an idea on how we wanted to do everything and it actually worked for a few months. Bryan and I had a very good run of videos especially on Darksiders 2 and Borderlands 2. Everything was going good and Fernando was setting up deals with developers and different conventions…or so he said.
Throughout the next year people came and went on the YouTube Channel and the website. The majority of the people that left all had the same reason in mind which was Fernando. Over the next year I found out who Fernando really was and it was all negative. He rarely did anything, which is one of the reasons why Bryan left, and constantly lied to people on our numbers to impress them enough to get him into conventions.
In April 2013 I finally had enough of it and decided to take all the passwords and access to everything until I got some real answers from everyone. People were lacking and I was always staying up until 3AM to get things done and then having to get up a few hours later to do my actual job to provide for my family.
Fernando had almost done nothing for a few months and while we talked about it he said he would help out more. I made the foolish mistake of trusting him on that. He decided to delete the YouTube channel and tried to do the same to the website, but luckily he didn’t have access to that. With Charlie it broke my heart a little to see our friendship go, but with Fernando, I was actually happy with it because of how bad of a person he was.
Bryan had said it best about myself that I trust people to much, and he was right. Bryan was getting ready to become a father and didn’t want to start over with the channel, and I never blamed him for that. In fact, the only thing I was angry at was myself for allowing it to happen when people like Bryan, Javi, and Joe who had helped to make that channel grow had to watch all their hard work be deleted.
I had tried to bring back VGMMDI with Javi and one of his friends, but I lost a lot of the fire in me to have to start back at 0. We tried, but it just ended in a disaster only being a few weeks before we separated and stopped being friends because of it. However, something did grow from it.
A few months back before the deletion of the channel I befriended someone that Fernando actually introduced me to named Gabe, or as YouTube knows him VolitileGabe. He had quite the following and during the failure of bringing back VGMMDI for a third time I asked if he needed any help on his channel. He primarily only did walkthroughs, so I asked if he needed someone to do Achievements or Reviews for his channel. Over a quick phone call he said yes and that started a pretty good friendship. I did a few videos for him for Metro: Last Light and Dead Island: Riptide. I didn’t stay long because someone had offered me a deal and another lie which seems to be the story of my YouTube career.
Gabe and I were doing a few podcasts with a man named Doug or Nukem Dukem. He was always trying to get me to join his channel, but I was fine where I was with Gabe. However, that changed when he offered me something that I would have been stupid to refuse, his channel. He had told me he was going to give up gaming because he didn’t really like it, so I thought this would have been great and it started out pretty good.
Over the next few months I was getting games early and making videos ranging in the hundreds of thousands. However, Doug was extremely demanding and enjoyed cheating his way to the top. Doug broke embargo, stole other footage to be used and named his videos wrong to gain more viewership. I made close to two thousand dollars working with him for just two months, but I didn’t like the price of doing it. I tried to change the way things were done by doing everything right, but I would instead be yelled at and have it changed because it wasn’t making him the viewership he wanted. I decided to leave for many reasons. He said he was a moral man (studying to be a priest), but it was clear that greed was his only desire because he would say that games like GTAV and Saints Row 4 were immoral games and he wouldn’t play him, but he had no problem with making money from them on his channel by having others do it. I couldn’t deal with it, so I just left.
I’ll be finishing up this history lesson a little later…..