We went to the home of The Yogscast – Minecraft’s biggest players
The Yogscast were established in 2008 by founders Lewis and Simon; by recording World of Warcraft gameplay with added commentary they found an audience that then grew significantly once they started doing the same with Minecraft (a game in which you use blocks of material to create buildings and stuff). Six years later and the main Yogscast YouTube channel now has over two billion views and a multitude of side channels.
They are big. Very, very big.
It was all very mysterious; we were told to stand outside a building and phone the number we’d been given, at which point a bloke appeared from up the street and guided us into what looked like an extremely boring building. An element of secrecy, we later learned, is necessary when you’ve got millions of people watching you.
Our first impressions of the insides were confusing. Think a typical office: desks, computers, pens etc., just with an entire wall-to-ceiling shelf of the kind of YouTube awards you get when you have a following the size of a small country.
We met everybody in the office and it began to dawn on us just how many people it takes to run Yogscast. From artists to producers, it’s a huge team that you don’t really get to appreciate when you watch a Yogscast video.
It’s actually somebody’s job to create the thumbnail for each video. They’re all really passionate and super friendly; as work environments go, it’s pretty sweet.
Beneath all of this is the heart of Yogtowers. Individual, sound-proofed studio spaces, each with green screens, ridiculously good camera equipment, an audio system that connects each studio to a master sound board that has a whole room for itself, and of course, all the gaming equipment any Minecraft player could ever possibly dream of. To say that we were impressed by the facilities is an understatement. I still can’t quite get my head around the whole thing.
There’s even a room just for the players to chill in, with a ton of gaming memorabilia, drinks and – omg – natural light.
While we were being shown around a gaming session was about to be recorded and there was excitement in the air; people were going into the studios and locking themselves away – there were actual red lights outside the occupied rooms saying they couldn’t be disturbed, it’s that serious.
Yogscast is amazing. They’ve managed to turn their hobby into a job, and they still have fun. It’s every gamer’s dream.
Have a watch at one of their most famous videos below: