Whilst the limelight seems to be on how many YouTubers are bringing out books lately, apps have long been one of the first forays into merchandise for a lot of vloggers, including Tati from GlamLifeGuru and Shane Dawson. It was only last year that startup Victorious signed Ryan Higa to help him build his own social networking app. And although it no longer exists, Zoella’s team created a similar version.
But, on the whole, apps haven’t really taken off for YouTubers and celebrities. So what is it they’re doing wrong? When the Kardashians released their own apps recently, fans were outraged at having to pay for content when they can simply get it on YouTube. And that’s more than likely the issue here.
Why bother paying $2.99 when they can tweet their favourites, watch their videos on YouTube or follow their Instagram feed. Even if the content on the apps is unique, it’s still another hoop to jump through that can feel pointless for even the most hardcore of fans.
Which is why we were pleasantly surprised to see the offering from Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie.
Legend of the Brofist is an Android and iOS game with a distinctly retro feel that will make you wish you were playing Sonic on the Sega in your bedroom in 1997.
The game sees you fight against evil beings who are trying to steal PewDiePie’s subscribers and then work your way through Pewd’s world collecting BroCoins along the way.
We found using our phone as an old-school joy stick pleasurably frustrating as we navigated our movements using the lefthand side of the screen and crouched and jumped using the right. Once we got the hang of the controllers, the game became a great storytelling platform with PewDiePie and notable YouTube friends including JackSepticEye and Markiplier cropping up throughout. Overall, we really rate it.
As well as the game itself being a winner, we’re also intrigued by the standard Felix has now set for YouTuber apps as a whole. As big name talent agencies and creators continue to expand into the world of celebrity, there’s a fear a lot of merchandise and experiences stop holding genuine value to the fans and are more about turning the cogs of the bank. With Legend of the Brofist, you’ll need to pay £3.99 for the pleasure but that’s it. Not a penny more.
We’ve already discussed today about the issues KickThePJ is facing as he battles with fans conflicting his $10 price limit on his web series. Putting a straight up monetary value on Felix’s game is another means of allowing him to not only produce the game to its best quality but also not have to go down the line of in-app purchases which only fuel fans to see products as inauthentic. Once the initial fee is paid, you’re free to enjoy the game for the rest of your life. There’s no paying to get more coins, to enjoy more levels or to continue playing for a few more hours and this absolutely goes against the grain of how gaming companies have operated over the last few years.
We’re eager to see how the content, quality and change in pricing plan effects future content creators when producing apps or similar.