The Yogscast

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Yogscast Ltd.
Private Limited Company
Industry
Founded Bristol, England, United Kingdom (2008 (2008))
Founders Lewis Brindley, Simon Lane
Headquarters Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Products
Revenue
  • Increase £1,477,030 (2013)
  • £528,399 (2012)[1]
Total assets
  • Increase £2,110,655 (2013)
  • £754,334 (2012)[1]
Total equity
  • Increase £1,627,567 (2013)
  • £494,243 (2012)[1]
Members List of members
Number of employees
18 (2014)
Website yogscast.com

The Yogscast is a network of YouTube broadcasters who produce gaming-related video content, focused around their main YouTube channel, "YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon" (also known as "BlueXephos"). The channel initially gained popularity with its videos about the MMO World of Warcraft,[2] though videos about the sandbox game Minecraft brought it to widespread attention.[3][4]

History[edit]

The group was founded in July 2008 by Lewis Brindley. The name "The Yogscast" was derived from the title letters of a previous World of Warcraft guild named "Ye Olde Goone Squade".[5] "Goons" are members of the Something Awful forums where the guild was originally formed and which most of The Yogscast members are part of. Videos posted on behalf of the guild were referred to as "Yogscasts", with the term "Yogscast" eventually coming to refer specifically to those posted by videographer Brindley.[6]

After receiving help from many sources (such as World of Warcraft guild mates), some of these friends wanted help from Brindley and his partner Simon Lane by creating YouTube channels of their own. This move welcomed Hannah Rutherford (Lomadia), Duncan Jones (Lalna) and Chris Lovasz (Sips) to form the original Yogscast network. After this point, many more content creators/YouTube channels joined the Yogscast, hence them being known as "The Yogscast Family".

The Yogscast then was officially incorporated into a registered company on the 3 May 2011 by company director Brindley.[7] At this point Brindley, Lane and Rutherford moved operations from their shared home office in Reading, to their new headquarters in Bristol which they dub as "YogTowers". Since moving into the office, many of the other members (content creators and staff) decided to move to Bristol in order to work in-office rather than from home.

In June 2012, The Yogscast's primary channel, YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon, became the first channel in the United Kingdom to reach one billion views.

By the end of 2014, The Yogscast had:

  • 18 members of staff, working 'behind the scenes' (not necessarily content creators)[8]
  • 19 officially noted networked channels (not all being advertised with The Yogscast's in-house advertising style)[9]
  • A total of 20,867,994 subscribers on YouTube within the noted network
  • A total of 5,186,510,091 video views on YouTube within the noted network

Video series[edit]

Principal members of The Yogscast at BlizzCon 2011. From left to right, Hannah Rutherford, Lewis Brindley, and Simon Lane.

World of Warcraft[edit]

The World of Warcraft videos were the first videos released by The Yogscast. These videos were largely how to videos and parodies of how to videos. When the Cataclysm expansion set was released Brindley and Lane began recording play-through videos. Much of The Yogscast's initial popularity was due to media and blog coverage of these videos.[2] Joystiq regularly covered Yogscast Warcraft videos as they were released.[10]

Minecraft[edit]

One of the most popular video features of the Yogscast are their many Minecraft series.[3] In December 2010, Brindley and Lane began an ongoing series of Let's Play-style Minecraft survival multiplayer videos. As the series progressed, however, it evolved into a semi-improvised/scripted comedy drama and was renamed "Shadow Of Israphel". This series was the biggest of the Yogscast's at its time and led to its boom in subscribers; however it is currently on hiatus and not released to a schedule, therefore meaning it will restart once The Yogscast reaches a quality high enough for release. The Yogscast then expanded to produce video coverage of Minecraft updates, and shorter series consisting of Brindley and Lane playing through custom challenge and adventure maps designed by members of the Minecraft and Yogscast fan community. Yogscast members Rutherford and Jones used to make occasional appearances with Brindley and Lane to demonstrate Minecraft mods in a series dubbed "Mod Spotlight". Another series, also a semi-improvised comedy drama similar in style to "Shadow of Israphel", was later made under the name "YogLabs".[11]

Minecraft mod packs[edit]

Tekkit & YogCraft artworks

In June 2012, The Yogscast started a new Minecraft server running the mod pack Tekkit. Many of The Yogscast members took the chance to make a Tekkit series after the instant success of the initial series. The main appropriately called “Tekkit Part #” appeared on the main channel. When the modpack conversion from Tekkit to Feed-The-Beast (FTB) took place, they changed all previous and future episode titles to “Jaffa Factory #”.

The “Jaffa Factory” was based on Lane's aspiration of making Jaffa Cakes (represented by cookies) in Minecraft. Brindley sought the help of Jones, who had a very basic understanding of the mod pack previous to the series.[12]

The change from Tekkit to FTB happened in March 2013, when The Yogscast were made a customized private modpack called “YogCraft” made by the official team of FTB. They later released this custom-made modpack to the public through the use of the FTB launcher/platform.

During the conversion stage from Tekkit to YogCraft, The Yogscast produced a new series titled “Voltz”. This was another public made minecraft modpack that was available from the Technic platform. The short-lived series started on the 12 January 2013 and came to an end on the 28 April 2013 with the total production of 25 episodes.

Throughout the series “Jaffa Factory” and “Voltz”, it is evident that very basic scripting took place. By the use of scripting, it enabled the producers to intertwine characters and story lines as a result of modpack conversions.

On 21 July 2013 FTB founder and creator, Slowpoke, announced changes to custom FTB modpacks, stating that "YogCraft" was locked and that there were no plans for an update to this pack, as “The Yogscast tend to stay with the same modpack for quite a while".[13]

On 8 October 2013, The Yogscast uploaded the first episode of a new series titled "MoonQuest".[14] This series was produced from a different Minecraft mod pack that they themselves had also developed, called the "Yogscast Complete Pack".

Garry's Mod[edit]

The Yogscast occasionally post videos using the sandbox physics game Garry's Mod (Gmod) with several series, one in which they look at various things that have been uploaded to the Steam Workshop[15] and a few occasional miniseries where they have competitions between The Yogscast members to build various contraptions.

Recently, due to a surge of interest, The Yogscast have uploaded an abundance of Garry's Mod content, mainly revolving around three Gmod game modes: Prop Hunt, Trouble in Terrorist Town and Gmod Murder. Most of the content is uploaded to Lovasz's channel, and generally involves him, Turpin, and Hat Films, although several episodes have been uploaded to the main channel involving many other members of The Yogscast network as well.

Simple Simon[edit]

Starting in early October 2013, on the network Polaris channel, The Yogscast began a series named "Simple Simon" in which Simon is asked questions about a guest on the show and he has to guess what their answer would be.[16] Many of the guests on "Simple Simon" have been other YouTube gamers such as TotalBiscuit and Jesse Cox. As well as YouTube gamers, the show has featured people from other mediums such as American screenwriter Evan Daugherty[17] and British comedian Bill Bailey.[18]

Songs and music parodies[edit]

In and around October 2013, all of the parodies The Yogscast had produced prior to this date were privatised on YouTube due to copyright allegations, but were later unlocked after the claims had passed.

Among the years, The Yogscast network and main channel have released many songs and parodies inspired from their videos, mainly Minecraft.

They have been released on Amazon.com, YouTube, Spotify and iTunes.

Secondary channels and sub-network[edit]

The Yogscast created a secondary gaming channel in May 2011 originally called "Yogscast2", now known as YOGSCAST Hannah.[19] This channel originally featured "YogTrailers", a series in which Brindley and Lane provided commentary while watching videogame trailers, but subsequently exclusively showed "Hannah Plays", a series in which Rutherford plays through various games.

In December 2011, The Yogscast started a sub-network within Polaris (itself a sub-network of Maker Studios) presenting four new channels: YOGSCAST Sips (Chris Lovasz), YOGSCAST Sjin (Paul Sykes), YOGSCAST Duncan (Duncan Jones) and YOGSCAST Rythian (Joakim Hellstrand), forming the original Yogscast network.

In 2012, two existing YouTube channels, "NilesyRocks" (Liam MacKay) and "InTheLittleWood" (Martyn Littlewood) joined The Yogscast, but under new channel name advertising of "YOGSCAST Nilesy" and "YOGSCAST Martyn". These were then followed by the creation of two new channels "YOGSCAST Zoey" (Zoey Proasheck) and "YOGSCAST Strippin" (Sam Thorne).

In 2013, the existing channels "HybridPanda" (John Cochrane), "DaveChaos" (Dave Chaos) and "Hatfilms" (Alex Smith, Ross Hornby & Chris Trott) additionally became apart of The Yogscast, but under new YouTube channel names following The Yogscast in-house advertising style. Additionally in 2013, the channel "YOGSCAST Zylus" was made knowledgeable to The Yogscast's fans after originally being created in June 2010.

In March 2013, the channel "YOGSCAST Parv" was created by its user Alex Parvis who was formally a member of staff who worked in the administration department at The Yogscast's headquarters.

In May 2013, a new channel "YOGSCAST Kim" was created in The Yogscast's network, by its user Kim Richards, who was also a member of staff at The Yogscast working as a full-time editor, but decided to become a content creator instead.

In May 2014, The Yogscast network welcomed an existing channel under the name of "Dead Workers Party (DWP)". The partnership behind this channel, Brent and Eric, was forced to shut down in September 2014 due to a lack of funds.[20] The channel producers formed their own individual YouTube channels, but neither remain in The Yogscast network.

In November 2014, The Yogscast announced and went forth with the creation of four new channels:

  1. "Conquest" - various Yogscast members play console games;
  2. "Team Double Dragon" - hosted by Brindley and Lovasz;
  3. "Civilization" - Yogscast members play Sid Meier's Civilization;
  4. "Yogscast Live" - where all future Yogscast Live-streams would be uploaded (including Christmas 2014).[21]

Members[edit]

The Yogscast is made up of many members, but the most well-known ones are the YouTube Content Producers. They are:

  • Lewis Brindley (Xephos)
  • Simon Lane (Honeydew)
  • Paul Sykes (Sjin)
  • Duncan Jones (LividCoffee)
  • Chris Lovasz (Sips)
  • Hannah Rutherford (Lomadia)
  • Martyn Littlewood (InTheLittleWood)
  • Joakim Hellstrand (Rythian)
  • Liam MacKay (Nilesy)
  • Chris Trott (Trottimus)
  • Alex Smith (Alsmiffy)
  • Ross Hornby (Djh3max)
  • Kim Richards (NanoSounds)
  • Sam Thorne (Strippin)
  • Keith Steinbach (BebopVox)
  • Zoey Proasheck (Zoeya)
  • John Cochrane (Panda)
  • Dave Bagnall (DaveChaos)
  • Steven Goates (Ridgedog)
  • Matt Needler (iFirez)
  • Phil Southam (BruteAlmighty)
  • Toby Cottrell (SoTotallyToby)
  • William Strife (Linkthe1st)
  • Mark Turpin (Turpster)
  • Ted Forsyth (Pyrion Flax)
  • Alex Parvis (Parv)
  • Rick van Laanen (Zylus)

Also, a pretty big chunk of the Yogscast are staff members that, most of them, work at YogTowers. These members are:

  • Anya Ferris (MintyMinute)
  • Ørjan Aarvik (Teutron)
  • Harry Marshall (VeteranHarry)
  • Rich Keith
  • Dave Boddington (Bodders)
  • Ciaran Askew (Ceeraanoo)
  • Nina-Serena
  • Adam Davis
  • Sam Gibbs
  • Niall
  • Colin Bassett
  • Tom Clark
  • Tom Perkins
  • Tom Bates
  • Si Melton
  • Alex Turner
  • Adrian Ruiz
  • Ben Edgar
  • Nathan Ditum
  • Rob Pearson
  • Dave Jackson

There are also Associates who are basically Yogscast members, but aren't YouTubers or Staff members who work at YogTowers. They are:

  • Ferazhin
  • Dave Fayram (KirinDave)
  • Tom Clarke (Sparkles*)
  • Fred Malmhake (FredMalm)
  • Charlie McShane
  • Daryl Pendry (Reckreations)

Some of the original Yogscast staff have left or been fired.

  • Pat Woodward (Peva), was the host of the Minecraft Servers and Website Creator and was fired due to a falling out between members of the Yogscast.
  • Tinman was the website manager and was fired because he had stolen somewhere between $18,000 to $21,000 from the Yogscast Website by redirecting its advertising banners.
  • Sean Veck (Phatima) was one of the Shadow of Israphel directors but left the Yogscast for unknown reasons.
  • Adam Spencer (GameChap) used to be part of the Yogscast family, though he eventually severed ties with the Yogscast for saying uncivil things to Yognau(gh)ts on the Yogscast subreddit.
  • Paul Spencer (Bertie) used to be part of the Yogscast family, though he eventually severed ties with the Yogscast for saying uncivil things to Yognau(gh)ts on the Yogscast subreddit.
  • Eric Fullerton left the Yogscast due to financial troubles and time-zone issues.
  • Brent Copeland left the Yogscast due to financial troubles and time-zone issues.

Podcast[edit]

The YoGPoD
Presentation
Hosted by Xephos (Lewis Brindley), Honeydew (Simon Lane)
Genre Gaming, Comedy
Language English
Length 15 – 120 minutes
Production
Production Tom Clarke
Publication
Debut 5 February 2009; 6 years ago (2009-02-05)
Provider Yogscast Ltd.
Website http://www.yogscast.com

The YoGPoD podcast was first released on 5 February 2009, and was intended to run alongside the group's YouTube video releases. The podcast often featured members of Brindley and Lane's World of Warcraft guild. They were released regularly at first with a proposed weekly schedule, but their releases became more sporadic over time to the point where their podcast "Episode 42: Strawnana" came 5 months after its predecessor. A new YoGPoD was released on the 30th of October celebrating Halloween, the first YoGPoD in 12 months.

The YoGPoD's content was varied, but one of the most prominent features was Lane impersonating public figures, and Brindley interviewing them. Brian Blessed and Warwick Davis were the most prominent interviewees. An actual video interview with Davis took place in November 2012.

The YoGPoD reached #1 on the iTunes UK Podcasts chart on 4 July 2012[22] following the release of 'Episode 42: Strawnana'.[23]

Controversies[edit]

MineCon 2011[edit]

The Yogscast team had their own panel at MineCon 2011,[3][24] where they showcased the work of the Minecraft community using multimedia presentations, displaying works such as various redstone creations made by the Voxel crew, a video displaying the creative Minecraft structures created by "Block_Fortress", a server trailer for "TheVoxelBox", and exclusively premiering an episode of "Shadow of Israphel" to the live audience.

After MineCon 2011 the Yogscast was under fire from Minecraft creator Markus Persson, in which Persson accused The Yogscast of profanity and unprofessional behaviour and stated he would no longer work with The Yogscast.[25] These claims were questioned by MineCon attendees as well as John Bain,[25] a longtime friend of The Yogscast. The Yogscast responded to the criticisms on Reddit and via a YouTube video, denying Persson's accusations and expressing their disappointment and frustration with the organisation of MineCon, as well as their respect for the Minecraft community and Persson in particular.[26] Persson later apologised for the misunderstanding, retracted his accusations, and attributed the statements to stress and mis-communication. To date, however, The Yogscast have never published any further coverage of subsequent MineCons, nor have they ever worked professionally with Mojang and Persson.[27]

Kickstarter Campaign[edit]

In 2012, The Yogscast started a Kickstarter campaign for the development of a new video game called "Yogventures!". Due to their large community outreach, the goal of $250,000 could be reached easily and the Yogscast raised $567,000 from 13,647 donators. However, the ambitious goals could not be reached and the project was cancelled in July 2014 while still in development stage. The backers were compensated with a copy of the game "TUG" by Nerd Kingdom, which The Yogscast describe as: "[The] game is still in alpha but is shaping up to be everything we wanted Yogventures to be." All the Yogventures! artwork and source code that had been created so far was handed over to Nerd Kingdom.[28][29]

Comment section hiatus[edit]

Due to widespread abuse, Yogscast member Joakim 'Rythian' Hellstrand first brought up the idea of turning off the comments section on his YouTube videos on 15 June 2013,[30] which then inspired The Yogscast's main YouTube channel YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon to consider doing so as well. Hellstrand himself did not disable comments on his videos until after they were disabled on the YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon channel.[31]

On Tuesday 18 June 2013, The Yogscast's CEO announced on Reddit and Twitter that the YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon channel was going to experiment with turning off the ability to comment on specific videos, with the intention of improving feedback and communication.[32]

YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon first banned comments on their video 'StarMade Ep 3 – Insanium' released on 23 June 2013.[33] As of December 2014, all channels within the Yogscast Network allow full comments on their respective channels.

Public appearances[edit]

Gamescoms 2011[edit]

At Gamescoms 2011 The Yogscast promoted the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY with Minecraft: Pocket Edition on behalf of Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, who was unable to attend in person.[34]

Minecraft: The Story of Mojang[edit]

Brindley and Lane appeared in the 2012 documentary film Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.[35] The film follows Minecrafts rise to success and the formation of Mojang.

Charity initiatives[edit]

The Yogscast win at the Oxfam Awards 2012, accepting the award for Most Popular Fundraiser from JustGiving

In April 2011, QubeTubers held a telethon-style livestreaming event to raise money for Child's Play. The Yogscast appeared as guest hosts along with many other internet personalities such as CaptainSparklez (Jordan Maron), Seananners (Adam Montoya), C418 and Deadmau5.[36]

For the 2011 festive season, The Yogscast team raised money for Oxfam to "send locally-sourced and vaccinated goats to families living in poverty." As of May 2012, a total of £63,780 has been raised, exceeding the target goal of £60,000.[37] The Yogscast was named JustGiving's Most Popular Fundraiser of 2012 for this achievement.[38]

On 16 June 2012 Brindley and Lane aided OpShareCraft's livestream, raising money for Save the Children, as guests.[39][40] Over $17,000 was raised in the few hours they were there, adding to the final total of over $1 million.[39]

For the 2012 holiday season, the Yogscast team did another charity drive for Oxfam, to "provide training and a workshop for the manufacture of modern beekeeping equipment for Ethiopian families".[41][42] They worked with other YouTube partners such as HatFilms and GameChap. Other YouTube celebrities, such as TotalBiscuit and Athene hosted the livestream which went on through the night everyday during December. The end total raised by "Honeydew's Honey Drive" was £210,977.[41] They were nominated again for JustGiving's Most Popular Fundraiser of 2013 and received a Special Recognition Award at the JustGiving Awards ceremony.[43]

Furthermore to the annual seasonal charity initiatives, starting on the 1st December 2013, the Yogscast team started yet another charity drive called "Dwarven Dairy Drive". This time teaming up with Humble Bundle, and gaining support from their friends in the gaming industry. The Yogscast claimed that with working with Humble, they could give something back for the kind generosity in the form of free games for donators. As part of this effort, Lane was released as a downloadable character for the PC version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on 6 December 2013, with all proceeds going to SpecialEffect.[44] They raised $1,156,799.80 (~£700,000) by the end of their December 2013 charity drive.[45]

In 2014, The Yogscast held live-streams on each night for the month of December, called the "Yogscast Jingle Jam", with a final donation figure of $930,985.29 (£615,733.05).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Award Recipient Result
2012 Golden Joystick Awards YouTuber Gamer Award The Yogscast Won
2013 Golden Joystick Awards YouTuber Gamer Award The Yogscast Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Key Financials". Company Check Ltd. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "PC gaming's new video professionals". PC Gamer: 18–19. September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Rob Spillman (6 December 2011). "Inside the revolutionary world of "Minecraft"". Salon. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Rory Cellan-Jones (10 July 2012). "The TV tycoons you may have missed". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Yogscast | FAQ". Yogscast. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  6. ^ "People: Simon Lane & Lewis Brindley". Edge: 130–131. December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Director Summary/Overview". Company Check Ltd. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "About Us, Yogscast Staff, The Yogscast Family, Who are The Yogscast?". The Yogscast. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Yogscast Content Creators". Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Posts with tag yogscast". WoW Insider. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Minecraft Mod - YogLabs Part 1 - Welcome to the Facility on YouTube
  12. ^ Tekkit Part 1 – Jaffa Cake Factory Planning on YouTube
  13. ^ 'Slowpoke' (2013-07-21). "FTB Ultimate and other older modpacks". FTB Forum. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  14. ^ MoonQuest Episode 1 - Lofty Ambitions on YouTube
  15. ^ Garrys Mod - Amazing Stuff Part 1 - Rollercoaster and Planes on YouTube
  16. ^ Simple Simon Ep. 1 Ft. Turpster - Polaris on YouTube
  17. ^ Simple Simon Ep. 8 Ft. Evan Daugherty - Polaris on YouTube
  18. ^ Simple Simon Special #1 ft. Bill Bailey - Polaris on YouTube
  19. ^ yogscast2's channel on YouTube
  20. ^ Dead Workers Party Closes Shop (find out where Eric and Brent are going) on YouTube
  21. ^ Vlog Updates! - New Channels, Christmas Jumper and More! on YouTube
  22. ^ "Xephos, Honeydew – 'The YoGPoD' British iTunes Chart Performance". DownloadCharts.net. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "The YoGPoD". iTunes. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Minecon 2011 Schedule of Events". GameShampoo Magazine. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Henry Winchester (22 November 2011). "Minecraft’s Notch versus Yogscast: the story so far". PC Gamer. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  26. ^ Nathan Brown (24 November 2011). "Yogscast "disappointed" by Notch Minecon claims". Edge Online. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  27. ^ "Kickstarter-funded Yogventures canned, backers given Steam key for another game instead". Eurogamer.net. 17 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "One last update from Winterkewl. — Kickstarter". 
  29. ^ Effective immediately, all comments on all my videos (and soon all Yogscast videos) will be disabled. With @YouTube's decision to combine -> Rythian on Twitter. 14 Jun 13. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  30. ^ YogscastRythian's channel on YouTube
  31. ^ We've turned off comments for a little experiment on BlueXephos – hopefully it'll improve feedback and communication … Turpster on Twitter. 15 Jun 13. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  32. ^ StarMade Ep 3 – Insanium on YouTube
  33. ^ "Wednesday Morning Humor: Simon and Lewis from the Yogscast get interviewed by Sony Ericsson". DroidGamers. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  34. ^ "Yogscast appear in The Story of Mojang documentary". Accelerated Ideas. 
  35. ^ "QubeTubers: Event History". QubeTubers. 
  36. ^ "Yogscast Christmas Goat Giving Special". JustGiving. 
  37. ^ "Most Popular Fundraiser". JustGiving Awards 2012. 
  38. ^ a b $1,007,356 Raised Sharecraft 2012
  39. ^ Athene 16th June #1 on own3D.tv
  40. ^ a b "Yogscast – Honeydew's Honey Drive". JustGiving.  As part of this charity drive they hosted a livestream every day in December, with the exception of Christmas Day.
  41. ^ Ed Carrasco (4 December 2012). "Yogscast Plays Video Games For Charity This Christmas". NMR. 
  42. ^ "Meet the winners". JustGiving Awards 2013. 
  43. ^ "Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed - Yogscast DLC on Steam". 
  44. ^ GamePress (3 January 2014). "The Yogscast raise over £700,000 for charity in December live stream". Gamasutra. 

External links[edit]