The Yogscast

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Yogscast Ltd.
Type Limited
Industry Entertainment, Gaming
Founded 2008
Founder(s) Lewis Brindley
Simon Lane
Headquarters Bristol, United Kingdom
Key people

Lewis Alan Brindley (Co-founder, Shareholder & Company Director)
Simon Charles Lane (Co-founder, Shareholder & Company Director)
Mark Turpin (CEO & Business Development Manager)

Rich Keith[1] (General Manager)
Website http://www.yogscast.com/

The Yogscast are a group of YouTube broadcasters who produce gaming-related video content, focused around their main YouTube channel, YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon (formerly BlueXephos), with additional content syndicated through a wider network of YouTube channels. 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]

In June 2012, the Yogscast's primary channel, YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon, (then BlueXephos) became the first channel in the United Kingdom to reach one billion views.[5] As of June 2014, it is the most viewed and second-most subscribed YouTube channel in the UK,[6] with over 7 million subscribers[7] and over three million daily views.[8] The Yogscast received the "Greatest YouTube Gamer Award" at the Golden Joystick Awards in 2012 and 2013.[9]

History

The group was founded in July 2008 by Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley. The name "The Yogscast" was derived from the title letters of a previous World of Warcraft guild named "Ye Olde Goone Squade".[10] "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.[11]

In 2012, as they became a registered company, The Yogscast moved operations from a shared home in Reading to an office in Bristol which they dub YogTowers.[citation needed] Since moving to the office, many of the members have opted to move to Bristol in order to work in-office.

Video series

Principal members of the Yogscast at BlizzCon 2011. From left to right, Hannah "Lomadia" Rutherford, Lewis "Xephos" Brindley, and Simon "Honeydew" Lane.

World of Warcraft

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.[12]

Minecraft

One of the most popular video features of the Yogscast is the 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 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. 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 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.[13]

At Gamescom 2011 the Yogscast promoted the Xperia PLAY with Minecraft: Pocket Edition on behalf of Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of Minecraft, who was unable to attend in person.[14]

Minecraft mod packs

Tekkit & YogCraft artworks

Please note that FTB is an initialism of Feed-The-Beast, a very popular Minecraft modpack

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 series on BlueXephos was appropriately called “Tekkit Part #”, but when the modpack conversion from Tekkit to 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.[15]

The change from Tekkit to FTB happened in March 2013, when The Yogscast were made a customised private modpack called “Yogcraft” made by the official team of FTB. The Yogscast 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 short-lived series titled “Voltz”. This was another public made minecraft modpack. It was available from the Technic platform.

The series “Voltz” started on 12 January 2013 and ended on 28 April 2013 with the 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 of “Jaffa Factory” and “Voltz” 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".[16]

On 8 October 2013, The Yogscast uploaded the first episode of a new series dubbed MoonQuest.[17] This series was produced from a different Minecraft mod pack that they also had developed, with many of the mods that they had used before in their past series. This mod pack was called the "Yogscast Complete Pack".

The Yogscast reappraised the original “Jaffa Factory” series after being on hiatus for many months. They renamed the series to “JaffaQuest” and they used the newest modpack called “Yogscast Complete Pack” to produce the newest instalment of the series.

Many members of The Yogscast reappraised and made new series based on the original "Jaffa Factory" Minecraft world under the new modpack.

Minecraft music parodies

The Yogscast have also made several music parodies about Minecraft. As of November 2012, their most popular video is 'Screw The Nether', based on Maroon 5's 'Moves Like Jagger'. Another popular parody is 'Form This Way' based on Lady GaGa's 'Born This Way'. Both are created and sung mainly by Yogscast member Martyn Littlewood. Another popular music parody is 'HONEYDEWYEAYEA', a parody of the viral video 'HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA'. Released in June 2013, 'HONEYDEWYEAYEA' gained two million views in just under two days.[18] This parody was released around the time that the BlueXephos channel reached a total of two billion YouTube views. Brindley commented: 'Consider this a special celebration for reaching 2 billion views, you guys are the best.'[citation needed] Lyrics and singing were by Lane with extra vocals from Brindley, Lovasz, Jones, Littlewood and Sparkles*. A 'HONEYDEWYEAYEA 10 hour version' was also released two days after the original, with a behind the scenes version released later on.[19]

In October 2013, How Do I Craft This Again? was released by the Yogscast, but was later privatised on the channel due to a copyright claim[citation needed] since the song was a parody of When Can I See You Again?. All other video parodies were then privatised.

In March 2014, MoonQuest: An Epic Journey, based on the MoonQuest series was released as a new original music parody including home-made animations.[20]

Garry's Mod

The Yogscast also occasionally post videos using the sandbox physics game Garry's Mod with several series, one in which they look at various things that have been uploaded to the Steam Workshop[21] and a few occasional miniseries where they have competitions between the Yogscast members to build various contraptions.

Simple Simon

Starting in early October on the 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.[22] 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[23] and British actor Bill Bailey.[24]

Secondary channel and sub-network

The Yogscast has a secondary gaming channel originally called Yogscast2 and now known as Yogscast Hannah.[25] 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 such as Alan Wake, L.A. Noire, Batman: Arkham City, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Red Dead Redemption, Tekkit, Far Cry 3 and various indie games.

In December 2011, the Yogscast started a sub-network within Polaris (formerly known as TheGameStation, and itself a sub-network of Maker Studios) presenting four new channels featuring members of the Yogscast and the YOGS guild: YogscastSips, YogscastSjin, YogscastLalna and YogscastRythian. In the summer of 2012 two existing channels, NilesyRocks and inthelittlewood, joined the Yogscast family, followed by the creation of two more channels: ZoeyProasheck and TheStrippin. In 2013, the extant channels HybridPanda, Ridgedog, DaveChaos, Hatfilms and Adamzonetopmarks became another part of the Yogscast. Adamzonetopmarks were later kicked out of the Yogscast after an incident with fans. TeeYogscast, YogscastKim, ParvPlays and YogscastZylus have also been created, bringing the running total of Yog channels up to 18. In June 2013, the naming format for all channels was changed to YOGSCAST followed by the name of the featured people, for example – BlueXephos became YOGSCAST Lewis and Simon, InTheLittlewood became YOGSCAST Martyn and yogscastlalna became YOGSCAST Duncan.

The YouTube channel of the band Area 11, who are licensed under Yogscast Studios, are also associated but don't use the Yogscast-branded avatars used by the other channels. The channel Ridgedog featuring gamer Steven Goates has recently referred to itself as YogscastRidge due to Goates' active involvement in the Yogscast as major admin support and constant support throughout their successful series. Also, he has now started creating a Minecraft series on the Yogscast Complete Pack

As of December 2013, the network has more than 16 million subscribers in total.[7]

As of May 2014, there are 22 channels, these new channels are Yogscast Will, Yogscast Bebopvox, Yogscast Pyrion Flax, Yogscast DWP (Dead Workers Party) and Fyre UK.

YoGPoD podcast

The YoGPoD
Presentation
Hosting Xephos (Lewis Brindley), Honeydew (Simon Lane)
Genre Gaming, Comedy
Language English
Length 15 – 120 minutes
Production
Production Tom Clarke (Sparkles*)
Publication
Debut 5 February 2009; 5 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. Featured members included Lovasz, Jones, Hellstrand, Rutherford, Vyrianne, Yohi, Ravs, Pierson and Drahl. 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. A major meme is Tina Barrett, who is mentioned often and listeners are told to post on her Myspace page.

Since 20 March 2011 animations of segments from the YoGPoD have been featured on the Yogscast's main video channel BlueXephos. These animations have featured the work of several artists, most notably Swedish animator Fredrik Malmhake.

The YoGPoD reached #1 on the iTunes UK Podcasts chart on 4 July 2012[26] following the release of 'Episode 42: Strawnana'.[27]

Controversies

MineCon 2011

The Yogscast team had their own panel at MineCon 2011,[3][28] 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 had a major falling out with Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, in which Persson accused the Yogscast of profanity and unprofessional behaviour and stated he would no longer work with the Yogscast.[29] These claims were questioned by MineCon attendees as well as John 'TotalBiscuit' Bain,[29] 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.[30] Persson later apologised for the misunderstanding, retracted his accusations, and attributed the statements to stress and mis-communication. To date, however, the Yogscast has never published any further coverage of subsequent MineCons, nor have they ever worked professionally with Mojang and Persson.[31]

Yogventures! Kickstarter Campaign

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 backers. 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 decribe 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.[32][33]

Comment section hiatus

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 Saturday 15 June 2013, [34] which then inspired the Yogscast's main YouTube channel BlueXephos to consider doing so as well. Hellstrand himself did not disable comments on his videos until after they were disabled on the BlueXephos channel.[35]

On Tuesday 18 June 2013, the Yogscast's business development manager Mark 'Turps' Turpin announced on Reddit and Twitter that the BlueXephos channel was going to experiment with turning off the ability to comment on specific videos,[36] with the intention of improving feedback and communication.[37]

BlueXephos first banned comments on their video 'StarMade Ep 3 – Insanium' released on 23 June 2013.[38] Certain videos since then uploaded by BlueXephos have the comment section blocked. There was a specific routine of them doing this from "Geoguessr Challenge – Lewis vs Sjin Part 1" to "YogNews – 8 Player Xbox One, 2DS News and Skin Sale!".[39][40]

Minecraft: The Story of Mojang

Brindley and Lane appear briefly in the documentary film – Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.[41] The film follows Minecraft's rise to success and the formation of Mojang.

Charity initiatives

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.[42]

For the 2011 holiday 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.[43] The Yogscast was named JustGiving's Most Popular Fundraiser of 2012 for this achievement.[44]

On 16 June 2012 Brindley and Lane aided OpShareCraft's livestream, raising money for Save the Children, as guests.[45][46] Over $17,000 was raised in the few hours they were there, adding to the final total of over $1 million.[45]

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".[47][48] They worked with other YouTube partners such as Hat Films and GameChap. Other YouTube celebrities, such as TotalBiscuit and Athene hosted the livestream which went on through the night everyday during December. The current total raised by "Honeydew's Honey Drive" is £210,977.[47] They were nominated again for JustGiving's Most Popular Fundraiser of 2013 and received a Special Recognition Award at the JustGiving Awards ceremony.[49]

Furthermore to the annual seasonal charity initiatives, starting on the 1st December 2013, the Yogscast team started yet another charity drive called ‘Dwarven Diary Drive’. This time teaming up with ‘Humble Bundle’, and gaining support from their friends in the gaming industry. This year, the Yogscast team expanded, including several charities in the charity drive. Again, with the help from their partners ‘Humble Bundle’, the donators could choose how much they wanted to contribute and of which charity they wanted to donate to, out of: Oxfam, SpecialEffect, Little People UK, GamesAid, and War Child.[50] The Yogscast claimed that with working with Humble, they could give something back for the kind generosity, free games, better known as ‘Steam Keys’. As part of this effort, Lane was released as a downloadable character for the PC version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on December 6, 2013, with all proceeds going to SpecialEffect.[51]

They have raised $1,156,799.80 ~ £700,000 at the end of their December 2013 charity drive, thanking all the gamers and fans who donated and the international video games companies who supported this cause.[52]

Members

Note: The dates in parentheses show how long that member has been working with the Yogscast. The names in the square brackets are usernames from their current Minecraft accounts, unless otherwise noted.

Timeline

References

  1. ^ Rachel Weber. "Future veteran becomes Yogscast GM". gamesindustry international. Retrieved 7 January 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 Channel reaches one billion YouTube views". Pluggedin.co.uk. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Top 100 YouTubers from United Kingdom". SocialBlade. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b BlueXephos's channel on YouTube
  8. ^ Rory Cellan-Jones (10 July 2012). "Minecrafty: Meet Yogscast, the UK's Kings of YouTube". Video interview. BBC News. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Crookes, Del. "Skyrim wins the Ultimate Golden Joystick gaming award". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Yogscast | FAQ". Yogscast. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  11. ^ "People: Simon Lane & Lewis Brindley". Edge: 130–131. December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Posts with tag yogscast". WoW Insider. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Minecraft Mod - YogLabs Part 1 - Welcome to the Facility on YouTube
  14. ^ "Wednesday Morning Humor: Simon and Lewis from the Yogscast get interviewed by Sony Ericsson". DroidGamers. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Tekkit Part 1 – Jaffa Cake Factory Planning on YouTube
  16. ^ 'Slowpoke' (2013-07-21). "FTB Ultimate and other older modpacks". FTB Forum. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  17. ^ MoonQuest Episode 1 - Lofty Ambitions on YouTube
  18. ^ HONEYDEWYEAYEA on YouTube
  19. ^ HONEYDEWYEAYEA 10 hour version on YouTube
  20. ^ ♪ MoonQuest: An Epic Journey - Original Song and Animation on YouTube
  21. ^ Garrys Mod - Amazing Stuff Part 1 - Rollercoaster and Planes on YouTube
  22. ^ Simple Simon Ep. 1 Ft. Turpster - Polaris on YouTube
  23. ^ Simple Simon Ep. 8 Ft. Evan Daugherty - Polaris on YouTube
  24. ^ Simple Simon Special #1 ft. Bill Bailey - Polaris on YouTube
  25. ^ yogscast2's channel on YouTube
  26. ^ "Xephos, Honeydew – 'The YoGPoD' British iTunes Chart Performance". DownloadCharts.net. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  27. ^ "The YoGPoD". iTunes. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "Minecon 2011 Schedule of Events". GameShampoo Magazine. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Henry Winchester (22 November 2011). "Minecraft’s Notch versus Yogscast: the story so far". PC Gamer. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Nathan Brown (24 November 2011). "Yogscast "disappointed" by Notch Minecon claims". Edge Online. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  31. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-07-17-kickstarter-funded-yogventures-canned-backers-given-steam-key-for-another-game-instead
  32. ^ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/winterkewlgames/yogventures/posts/919100
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ YogscastRythian's channel on YouTube
  35. ^ Turpster comments on About time I think... What do you guys think of this? on Reddit
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ StarMade Ep 3 – Insanium on YouTube
  38. ^ Geoguessr Challenge – Lewis vs Sjin Part 1 on YouTube
  39. ^ YogNews – 8 Player Xbox One, 2DS News and Skin Sale! on YouTube
  40. ^ "Yogscast appear in The Story of Mojang documentary". Accelerated Ideas. 
  41. ^ "QubeTubers: Event History". QubeTubers. 
  42. ^ "Yogscast Christmas Goat Giving Special". JustGiving. 
  43. ^ "Most Popular Fundraiser". JustGiving Awards 2012. 
  44. ^ a b $1,007,356 Raised Sharecraft 2012
  45. ^ Athene 16th June #1 on own3D.tv
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ Ed Carrasco (4 December 2012). "Yogscast Plays Video Games For Charity This Christmas". NMR. 
  48. ^ "Meet the winners". JustGiving Awards 2013. 
  49. ^ "Supported Charities". Humble Bundle. 2 December 2013. 
  50. ^ http://store.steampowered.com/app/264600/
  51. ^ GamePress (3 January 2014). "The Yogscast raise over £700,000 for charity in December live stream". Gamasutra. 

External links