What just happened? Nearly all of Machinima's videos have been deleted from their YouTube channel, and the remainder set to private. While the creators who made their videos under the Machinima brand were told the company would experience significant change following an acquisition by Fullscreen, no one was expecting the videos to go like this.
Machinima is (or was) a YouTube-based network for gaming content. Creators affiliated with Machinima had a combined total of 1.4 billion video views and at one point Machinima was one of YouTube's most popular and prolific channels, but that's been on a decline for a while.
Creators noticed their videos were disappearing Friday afternoon. After fans protested the loss of their favorite videos across the internet, Machinima issued the following statement.
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.
To many fans, the loss of Machinima feels like the end of an era. For some time now creators had been shifting away from networks, while promoting and monetizing their own channels instead, with great success.
One such creator, Oliver Hull, said to The Verge that it took multiple emails to get a response from Machinima after the videos disappeared. Eventually they responded, saying "Rest assured that you are still part of Machinima, it's just that Machinima is now operating under the Fullscreen banner."
Machinima was originally purchased by Warner Bros. in 2016, but it's since been shuffled around. It's now owned by AT&T who own Time Warner who owns Warner Bros. who own Otterbox who own FullScreen Media, which will be managing and running Machinima. Most creators will become part of Fullscreen, while others will be shuffled around to other Time Warner projects and some may be let go.
For whoever is lucky enough to continue with Fullscreen, they seem to be in good hands. Fullscreen media is another multi-channel network, and they've managed large creators such as Ninja, TFue and Faze Rug with great success. However it's unknown what will happen to Machinima as a brand.