In the world of Let’s Players, PewDiePie is king. The YouTube star, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has amassed an incredible 37 million subscribers for his video game-focused channel, and with that has come great commercial success. PewDiePie reportedly earned $4 million from his gameplay videos last year, and has been named as one of the most influential people on the internet this year.
As it stands, however, it looks unlikely that the divisive star’s popularity is going to slow down any time soon. According to Destructoid, who was reporting on a report from Swedish tabloid Expressen, Kjellberg has seen a remarkable increase in his revenue. In 2014, Kjellberg’s production company PewDie Productions AB made a total of $7.45 million.
Although the eye-bulging amount may be surprising, it’s worth considering both the size of PewDiePie’s fan base and the sheer volume of videos the popular Let’s Play star creates. At 37 million, PewDiePie’s subscriber base is the highest on all of YouTube, and Kjellberg has produced over 2,300 videos for the channel. With uploads generally receiving a million views within a day, and some receiving tens of millions of views overall, it all adds up to be a very profitable industry for Kjellberg.
With such a huge influence in hand, it’s no surprise to see PewDiePie’s brand branching out into other media aside from gaming. Kjellberg’s popularity saw him guest star in a pair of South Park episodes focused on the role of video game Let’s Play commentary. Meanwhile, Kjellberg has also announced This Book Loves You, a self-help book parody, which is going to be released in conjunction with Razorbill, a division of publishing powerhouse Penguin Random House.
Such expansion of medium, as well as the YouTube star’s incredible growth in popularity, could perhaps be tied to some behind-the-scenes dealings. Kjellberg has signed a partnership with Maker Studios, an online content producer which is owned by Disney. With such backing, it’s no wonder to see PewDiePie taking a stand against attempts to limit the revenue Let’s Players can receive, including Nintendo’s recent profit-sharing policy that promises a 70%-30% split between creators and the publisher.
In spite of his massive popularity, PewDiePie is still a controversial figure in the world of video gaming. The YouTuber has faced the ire of gamers displeased with his content, and has even had to disable YouTube comments on his channel due to negativity and issues with spam and self-promotion. Nonetheless, Kjellberg has also had a tremendous role in the word-of-mouth promotion of certain video games, including the cult horror classic Amnesia: The Dark Descent, as well as making a generous amount of money for charities. Given these recent earnings figures, it’s unlikely that PewDiePie will be going away any time soon.