Making YouTube videos isn’t all they say it is. There’s long hours recording, finding our the software crashed so you have to record again, then editing, then waiting for the damn Australian internet to upload your creation because it’s so frickin’ slow… you get the idea.
There are some, of course, who have found that magical situation none as ‘fame’ through the video medium. I don’t hold that against them, far from it, they’ve put the work in and now they’re being rewarded for it. Unfortunately, there will be many, many more potential Youtuber’s out there who won’t be so lucky, that’s just the way life is. There are also those who really don’t understand the entire process at all, finding it curiously crazy to think millions of people the world over would sit for hours on end watching some stranger play a video game.
We’re a crazy bunch, we Youtubers, and now we have a game that wants to turn the entire experience into something fun … and perhaps educational. Youtubers Life is a cross between all of the above, The Sims and Game Dev Tycoon (or something similar). It’s being a YouTube creator without actually being a YouTube creator, with all the progress bars and cartoon characters you could shake a stick at.
To be fair, it’s not a bad idea. Tycoon games can be created from anything, whether it’s roller coasters, theme parks, ant hills, life, death, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! … *ahem* so why not make a game out of trying out of one of the ‘hottest’ topics out there right now, outside of e-sports itself. That’s probably the sequel. The problem, at least in my eyes, is that the rewards and game progress make it out to be a luxurious lifestyle, of partying and chilling out on yachts. Thank God this is a game, because I’m fairly sure not every YouTube personality out there has their own personal yacht … but, you know, if you do happen to own one, can I come visit? I’ve never been on a yacht before…
Interesting side-note, there’s over 600 reviews on Steam right now for Youtubers Life and it’s sitting at a ‘very positive’. Not bad. Especially a good sign considering Youtubers Life is in early access right now, so clearly the team at U-Play Online have done their homework. That’s U-Play Online, not to be confused with the online service provided by Ubisoft.
Whether you think it’s a tongue-in-cheek dig at the industry, a legit game that’s trying to explain what it’s like, or just a group of game developers who thought it would be a fun topic to make a game out of, there’s sure to be something there for Sims or Tycoon fans to sink their teeth into. I can’t help but cringe a little at it, not because it’s bad but because of the subject at hand. It’s a glorified cartoon, sure, but what kind of light does it shine on the industry itself when it’s portraying that kind of a life to potentially a young audience? Or maybe I’m just bitter that I’m not famous … or both?
It’ll be interesting to see whether the gameplay holds up, but given it’s not a full release there’s plenty of time to evolve the gameplay as fans (and YouTubers, no doubt) get into the meat on those curious bones. You can purchase Youtubers Life now on Steam Early Access.
Mark Isaacson is a freelance journalist and editor of PN2. He’s not, in any way, jealous of successful YouTubers … except that one guy, what’s his name? PewPewGuy? Yeah, that one.