It’s hard to believe that Google’s YouTube channel is already ten years old. It just seems like yesterday that fans were just watching their first videos on the channel, whether it was a vintage movie trailer or a customized clip put together by some savvy online artist.
Ten years later, YouTube has grown into an online phenomenon – even to the point where some creative types are able to make a living from it.
A majority of these people produce Let’s Play videos, which features gameplay footage from popular games, along with occasional tips to help casual users get through them. YouTube recently posted a top ten list of the most popular franchises in Let’s Play videos, and some of them truly are surprises.
At number ten is DotA 2, Valve’s free-to-play MOBA game, which has become a darling on the eSports circuit – especially at the yearly Invitational event in Seattle. It’s generated enough of a healthy audience to become a legitimate threat to the throne holder, League of Legends – which is on this list as well.
Number nine belongs to GungHo Online’s Puzzle & Dragons, a popular mobile match-three game that has generated millions of dollars for the company. It’s likely to continue remaining in a top spot, despite heavy competition from Monster Strike.
At number eight is the indie survival horror series Five Nights At Freddy’s, putting players in control of a security guard keeping animatronic horrors at bay. With the final chapter in the series arriving this year (and a movie in the works over at Warner Bros.), Freddy’s isn’t likely to die off anytime soon.
Number seven is The Sims, EA’s popular “create your own world” series, which has plenty of humorous situations and new additions to keep players engaged.
Perched at number six is Garry’s Mod, a unique sandbox physics game where players can do whatever they wish in an open world. With a number of oddball situations and laughable outcomes, it has replay value to burn.
FIFA sits in the number five slot, proving to be the most popular sports franchise in the world. (Sorry, Madden.) That’s good news for Electronic Arts’ sports division, as a new entry in the series should keep fans transfixed when it arrives this fall.
At number four is Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. Between gripping single player scenarios and wide-open multiplayer, it continues to be a phenomenon – and won’t slow down when Black Ops III arrives this November.
League of Legends continues to dominate in the number three position, generating millions of dollars for Riot Games, and enough interest for the company to host big tournaments on a regular basis. Its position on the top ten chart should remain in place for some time.
Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto holds the number two slot, and with good reason, as Grand Theft Auto V, the latest release in the series, is the most popular to date, with millions of copies sold. Its Grand Theft Auto Online component is also quite popular, especially with an editor for the PC version that lets users customize and post their own videos.
Finally, at number one, to hardly anyone’s surprise, is Mojang’s Minecraft. This has been a big hit since its debut years ago, prompting Microsoft to buy the franchise for a huge sum. It’s still a favorite these days, and with Microsoft’s financial oomph behind it, it’s only going to get better.
Happy birthday, YouTube. Here’s to ten more years of Let’s Play videos.