Swedish vlogger PewDiePie has converted his status as the world’s most popular YouTuber into a chart-topping game with the release of PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator.
With over 48 million subscribers and 13 billion views, PewDiePie can reach an audience as big as most media companies. YouTubers have been busy monetizing their influence (or trying to) ever since their subscriber numbers climbed into seven digits, but the move into mobile gaming is a pioneering approach.
Pioneering or not, it looks like PewDiePie’s massive fanbase are willing to follow him where he leads them. Despite the game having just appeared on the App Store last week, it currently sits in pole position on the Free Download chart. Even more impressively, PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator is now 11th on the Top Grossing chart, indicating that the freemium model for the game is pulling in substantial revenues.
According to some reports, the demand for the game overwhelmed servers and many players were unable to access the game in the initial few days after launch.
The game involves users creating their own simulated YouTube channel, deciding what type of video to make depending on what is trending, and then use an in-game currency called ‘Bux’ to make purchases that improve their channel. The game is hosted by PewDiePie himself, and uses a 1980s, pixelated graphics feel.
Like most YouTubers, PewDiePie’s viewers will largely be from a female, early-teen demographic. Most of these viewers will be using parental credit or debit cards to pay for any in-game purchases, throwing up some potential ethical considerations similar to those that dogged Sustainaville. With one of the most loyal audiences on YouTube, it seems unlikely many Tuber Simulator players will begrudge the costs required to get maximum results from the game.