Erik Range, also called Gronkh (born 10 April 1977, in Brunswick, Germany), is a computer games developer best known for creating and publishing the YouTube playthrough video game series Let's Play. Range markets these games through the company PlayMassive GmbH, which runs a computer games website. Gronkh is the most popular representative of the "Let's Play" genre in Germany.
Erik Range first gained recognition in the computer games industry as the guide for Bard characters that featured in the online role playing game Meridian 59. This is where he first used the gamer-tag "Gronkh", which he still uses today. Range said his pseudonym is a portmanteau of the name "Gregor Onkh". He has been managing partner and co-founder of PlayMassive GmbH since 2009. Colleague, shareholder, manager, and fellow co-founder of the company is Valentin Matthias Rahmel, whose online pseudonym is Sarazar. Rahmel collaborates with Range on YouTube.
Since 2010, Range has regularly published "Let's Play" videos, in which he talks about his progress in various games. He published his first video on April 1, 2010; a test recording for the online game Allods Online. Since then, he has become one of the most popular German-speaking providers of these formats. His YouTube channel has had over 3.5 million subscribers and over 1.3 billion video views, and is one of the most successful channels on the website. He is one of the first commercial German creators and providers of related videos. Range's work is supported by game manufacturers that want to promote for their own products through cooperation. The game developers of Daedalic recently[when?] reported an increase in sales of Edna bricht aus after the game was promoted on Range's channel. Since early 2012, Gronkh has been registered as a trademark to PlayMassive GmbH at the German Patent and Trademark Office.
Range operates the website Gronkh.de as a part of the PlayMassive network. Gronkh.de features Range's YouTube videos and a list of other Let's Play users of PlayMassive. Gronkh.de is financed through advertising sponsorship. Range also operates a real-life channel called Die Superhomies with Rahmel, which is about the two men's travels. The channel has gathered around 300,000 subscribers since 2006.
Range's best-known series is his Let's Play Minecraft series, which he started 19 October 2010. He publishes 10- to 20-minute episodes and receives around 150,000 views per video. There are over 1,000 parts of this series. Since 18 May 2012, the online video portal MyVideo has featured a live stream, in which Sarazar and Gronkh play new games together or interact with viewers. The live stream regularly reaches over 65,000 spectators. On 1 March 2013, Range worked with other representatives of Let's Play to organized MyVideo live streams featuring "Last Man Standing" videos, in which Range played computer games with his team against PietSmiet's hard reset for about eight hours. The live stream has more than a million viewers.
Since mid-April 2014, a 24-hour stream of the Let's Play videos and other commentators of Gronkh.de are shown. As of 5 June 2013, Range's is the most-subscribed-to YouTube channel in Germany with more than 2,765,000 subscribers, overtaking the former first-place-ranked German channel, YTITTY.
- Horchert, Judith (22 October 2012). "Let's-Play-Stars Gronkh und Sarazar: Deutschlands berühmteste Vorspieler". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Stöcker, Christian (25 March 2012). "Pixelklötze spielen Heavy Metal". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Inscription of the Play Massive GmbH at a company register, Cologne, HR-NR.: HERB 5190 (AG Köln)
- YouTube-Channel of Gronkh, Retrieved 11 January 2015
- "Entertainment: Hinweise auf dritten Teil der Edna-Reihe und indirekte Ankündigung von Deponia 2". GIGA.de. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Inscription at the German Patent and Trademark Office (Nr. 302012002717). Retrieved 29 August 2012
- Die Superhomies at YouTube, Retrieved 26 July 2013
- List of the Let's-Play-Minecraft episodes at gronkh.de, Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "Let’s Play Together – Live-Game-Show von Gronkh und Sarazar" at MyVideo. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Last Man Standing – 8 Stunden Event-Livestream at MyVideo, Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Report from 4 March 2013 at taff on YouTube, Retrieved 9 March 2013.