The media business has been growing and changing rapidly in the last few years, and the rise of YouTube as an important media channel is one of the bright spots. This morning media company and YouTube star Fullscreen announced that it acquired ScrewAttack, an online destination for video game news, trailers, gameplay, original content and the games community. Fullscreen will rebrand its gaming-focused hub, Fullscreen Arcade, as the ScewAttack Network. That will encompass the networks existing 14,000 gaming channels that deliver more than 750 million monthly viewers.
Fullscreen has a wide range of creative talent in its partner network, including: The Fine Brothers, filmmaker Devin Super Tramp, super-group O2L and recording artist Lindsey Stirling. Fullscreen has 365 million subscribers that generate three billion video views across the Fullscreen’s global network each month.
ScrewAttack’s community includes a growing YouTube channel, a thriving website, and a strong offline presence through their annual SGC conference. “The only way to get cred with gamers is by truly understanding the art form of games, which is something that can’t be faked. ScrewAttack isn’t just another gaming site or channel, it’s a group of people who are extremely passionate about the space they’re in and it’s that knowledge and dedication that’s allowed them to build an entirely authentic games community,” said Larry Shapiro, Fullscreen’s Head of Talent. You can see ScrewAttack’s announcement of the deal here.
The [a]list daily spoke with ScrewAttack’s “Stuttering” Craig Skistimas, the founder and the ‘dude who makes things go’ at ScrewAttack, about the acquisition and what it means.
Has this deal been in the works a long time, or did it just happen?
It’s been in the works for a while, we’ve actually been talking for quite a long time. We wanted to make sure we got it right.
How will this purchase change ScrewAttack? Will things change immediately, or is it just going to be business as usual?
ScrewAttack has always been about community, and now we’re inheriting thousands of talented creators. Our job is going to be to create a community of these 8,000 plus partners. Fullscreen right now provides tons of technical resources for their partners. The one thing that Fullscreen was really looking for in the gaming space was a face, a brand to lead their phenomenal network of really talented folks. ScrewAttack’s focus being so community-oriented, it was such a good fit. We don’t anticipate a major change as far as the content we produce or the schedule we produce it on. We’ll still be producing original content every day, but you’ll definitely see incorporation of our partners. We want to showcase our partners and let people know they’re out there. ScrewAttack’s been doing that since 2007, now we just get to do that on a much larger scale. It’s very exciting.
How has your media mix been evolving? Will video take on an even bigger role now?
Video for us has always been the base of everything we do. We’re in the billion view club, since 2006 our content’s been viewed over a billion times. We’re definitely going to keep an emphasis on video. The best thing about Fullscreen is they really get what we’re about. They’re going to provide resources to let us do things bigger, better. By that I mean putting on our live event in Dallas, SGC, publish more games, and obviously on the merchandise side. We definitely realize that the video side has always allowed ScrewAttack to do everything that we’ve been able to do with such a shoestring budget. We will continue top be the same scrappy ScrewAttack crew that’s always been.
Who’s your audience, and is that changing?
Our audience mainly is just people who enjoy gaming content. We don’t really pigeonhole — we just say ‘people who like to watch content.’ We produce enough stuff that the hardcore gamer likes and the casual gamer likes. People who’ve never played a video game can sit back and watch. With such an influx of talent, our goal is to keep producing content that the Internet enjoys, and do it on a larger level with a bunch of talented folks.
How has mobile gaming and the grow of mobile devices affected ScrewAttack?
I will be the first to admit that mobile has been the great wasteland in the world of ScrewAttack. Our site currently is so inept when it comes to mobile viewing, that’s actually one of the first things we want to do. We talked about how we’re going to be able to do things we’ve always wanted to do with Fullscreen. One of those things is putting together an app or a mobile site that works, that allows people to watch as much as they can possibly watch to their heart’s content. Mobile is definitely going to be a big thing moving ahead. We know it’s been a thorn in our side for a long time.
What’s ahead for ScrewAttack in 2014?
Our goal this year is to really implement our vision of community, community, community, focusing in on the talented folks we have. We really want to provide cool things that we can offer our partners. With the summer season coming up, with E3, PAX, SGC, and everything else, that’s first on our radar. We plan on doing a number of community events this year, really taking a look at where our partners are throughout the United States and throughout the world, seeing where the biggest penetration is. We’ll do an event in New York or London just to allow our partners to connect. Right now I feel that there’s a big gap for creators to be able to connect with their fans on a personal basis. That’s something we really want to do, actually come out and shake their hands. We want to utilize SGC for that and offer our ScrewAttack partners the opportunity to come out to SGC for free and have free admission and connect with other partners and the fans.
From the gaming side, our goal is to publish three to four games this year. We’ve been working with developers for the past couple of months, and we’ve been neck-deep in game publishing. We’ve got some really great announcements coming there. Like I said at the beginning, it all comes down to our content. We really want to benefit not just the ScrewAttack community, but the gaming community as a whole.
We really want to change the way networks are portrayed online, and what networks offer their partners. ScrewAttack has been a family from the start, and we’re just opening up our family a little bigger. While the term network is in our name, I much prefer family. I know it sounds really corny, but that’s just how we’ve always done things and that’s just why it’s a fit with us and with Fullscreen. We want to do what ScrewAttack’s been doing since the start, and doing things that no one’s ever done. We want to continue doing that with our new partner Fullscreen, and moving ahead, and just kicking the Internet’s ass.