Gamers looking for entertaining content on YouTube are spoiled for choice these days. There are quite literally thousands of channels out their uploading excellent videos everyday, and finding them is often just a simple matter of searching the name a game one’s interested in. This wasn’t always the case though. In the early days of YouTube and online video-making in general, there were only a handful of places one could go. For a time, Machinima was the biggest and best among these, and thus a vast amount of classic gaming content was released under their brand. Inside Gaming, Freeman’s Mind, Arby ‘n the Chief, and Super Best friends were all published through Machinima’s channel, and now all that classic content is inaccessible.
Members of the ResetEra forum discovered yesterday that Machinima had set all of their channels to private, rendering everything they’d published since their channel started inaccessible to just about everyone. At the time of this writing, Machinima’s main channel is still practically empty. All their playlists are still there, but none of the videos are accessible. The possibility that this is the result of some sort of technical glitch or accident definitely exists, but given Machinima’s chronic decline and utter silence on this matter, it’s likely that this was done intentionally for some as-of-yet unknown reason. The company isn’t dead; they’re owned by Fullscreen now, so there’s no obvious immediate need for the channel to go private. Yet, here we are anyway.
Wow… they finally went ahead and deleted everything we'd ever done.
7+ Years of work… lost to the sands of time. #RIPMachinima
— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) January 19, 2019
The loss of Machinima itself is probably something that few will lose much sleep over. The one-time largest multi-channel network for gaming content has had a terrible reputation for years now, so their decline has something of a “just desserts” feel to it. The content itself was great though, especially the videos from YouTube’s early years. For all its flaws and absolutely awful practices, Machinima did at the very least help get good gaming content in front of gamers. One could even go so far as to say that without them, many old favorites would have never reached broad recognition, and the state of gaming on YouTube would be very different to day.
Not everything is lost though. Some videos like “Counter-Strike For Kids” have been re-uploaded by other channels, and series like “Freeman’s Mind” have found homes elsewhere on the internet and YouTube. It’ll take some digging, but there still might be some hope for some of these. This all might be a mistake too. The videos/channels are just private now, so the chance still exists that they’ll flip the switch and bring it all back one day. They say that nothing lasts forever though, and it seems not even classic internet videos are an exception to that rule.