Night Light | Let The Games Begin

Beast Games

It’s true, Jimmy is partnering with Amazon Prime Video to produce the biggest game show ever made. 1,000 participants, a $5M prize, what more would you expect from him? This week we’re taking a look at Beast Games, what we can expect from the show, and why this is a big deal for creators.

Giant Feastables bar spotted.

If you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, Colin and Samir can bring you up to speed.

What is Beast Games?

Last January rumors began circulating that Jimmy was close to inking a deal with Amazon Prime for a new game show on the streaming platform. 1000 contestants will compete for $5M in outrageous challenges. Picture his YouTube videos like a fire, this new series is “pouring gas on it, but the gas is from a truck and the hose is wide open.”

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The show will be the largest game show in history with the biggest cash prize in history. Think his YouTube videos but 20 time bigger. Money isn’t a constraint, he has full creative freedom, and every episode will feel like the biggest video he’s ever made.

How is this different from YouTube?

This is the first time that Jimmy has ever worked on a project like this. He explains that the show is going to be a hybrid version of his YouTube content. The show will still feel like a MrBeast production, blending what he likes from current unscripted game shows with what he’s been doing on YouTube for years. One thing we know for certain though - It’s still going to feel very much like YouTube.

Think Squid Game, but 20 times bigger.

The cost of an episode of Squid Game: The Challenge on Netflix was about $1M per episode (currently Jimmy spends around $3M on his YouTube videos). The cost of Beast Games episodes aren’t available yet, but the scale is going to be much bigger with little constraints around challenges.

Why is creative control so important?

Creative control was the most important factor in making the deal with Amazon Prime. On YouTube he’s able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. It's one of the reasons why the process of bringing a show to streaming platforms has taken so long. The audience is trusting Jimmy to create an authentic show.

This brings us back…

YouTubers have been adapting their IP to shows on TV and streaming services for awhile now. While they’ve had varying levels of success, these shows never feel as authentic as they do on YouTube. Creators have deep communities and proven track records. I think this marks a unique opportunity for Jimmy to prove that what works on YouTube can work on streaming platforms. Especially if creators are given a significantly larger role in production than they have traditionally had.

Why will this be a defining moment for creators?

Gary Vee has a great take on this when he says “attention is the asset.” I wouldn’t say we’re overvaluing streaming services, but that we’re undervaluing the quality of attention on places like YouTube, Twitch, and even TikTok. The creator economy is going to learn a lot from how Beast Games performs, I’m optimistic that there will be more opportunities for creators to work with traditional media in the future.

We also haven’t seen a creator given this big of a budget with this much creative control. Jimmy has a lot to prove come November, but he has the track record (250M views per video) and a ton of marketing leverage. Dropping the first episode on YouTube isn’t anything new, but I think this is one of the best opportunities to see how well YouTube can convert to streaming.

The Big Takeaway:

Ten episodes of Beast Games have been ordered for the back half of this year. This is different from how YouTubers have worked with traditional media in the past, Jimmy has full creative control, and this series is going to feel like his current videos on steroids. Excited to see how it does in November, hopefully we’ll be seeing more deals like this in the future.

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