The YouTube giant is no more. According to a report from Deadline on February 1st, 2019, the multi-channel network is closing its doors and is laying off 81 of its staff members after being bought out by WarnerMedia’s Otter Media.
According to a statement from a Machinima rep, only a skeletal crew remains on board as the final nails are being hammered into the media network’s coffin, saying…
“A select number of Machinima employees remain with the company, which is now actively providing services to supercharge the combined portfolio of Otter Media. Machinima has ceased its remaining operations, which includes layoffs. Russell Arons remains with Machinima, and is assisting with transitional activities as she explores new opportunities.”
As noted by Deadline, back at the start of January Machinima’s acquisition was finalized as part of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.
The real news, however, was the outcome of the acquisition: Machinima’s entire library of videos was wiped from YouTube.
App Trigger noted that nearly two decades worth of content was removed from the channel, including videos that were captured before YouTube was even a thing.
A lot of historical gaming channels have been hit, though, wiping out legacy content from the yesteryears.
According to a spokesperson from Otter Media, they explained that they are now focused on bringing in “new content” for the new Machinima…
“We are focused on creating new content with the Machinima team, which will be distributed on new channels to be announced in the coming months. In the meantime the Machinima network of creator channels continues to showcase the talents of the network. As part of this focus on new content, we have pivoted from distributing content on a handful of legacy operated channels.”
Given that Machinima had developed a rather unsavory reputation before the buyout, it’s difficult to see how a “new” Machinima would be well-received by any community or attract any sort of notable content creators to stick around for long.
From the whole XB1M13 scandal, which involved an investigation from the FTC, to the contract disputes with content creators, to all the other issues in between, it’s no wonder that Machinima has fallen as low as it has. But will the sordid history of the brand being swept under the rug really help with moving forward and building a new brand on top of the old one? I guess we’ll find out when the new and improved Machinima content starts rolling out.