The Yogscast is a media production company and video game publisher based in Bristol who produce gaming related video content focused around their main YouTube channel, "YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon" and subsequent channels made by other creators as part of the Yogscast network. The channel initially gained popularity with its videos about the MMO World of Warcraft, but have more recently come to be associated with sandbox game Minecraft, the sandbox game Garry's Mod, and the action free roam game Grand Theft Auto.[3][4] They are well known for their role playing series "Shadow of Israphel", "YogLabs" and "Moon/Mars/Jaffa Quest Series", as well as their live action series. In May 2017 the Yogscast announced they would be publishing their first game, Caveblazers, which released later that month.[35][36]

History

The group was founded in July 2008 by Lewis "Xephos" Brindley and Simon "Honeydew" Lane. The name "The Yogscast" was derived from the title letters of his previous World of Warcraft guild, "Ye Olde Goone Squade", who originated from Something Awful.[37]

After this channel became popular, other members of the "Yogs" guild and associates requested that Brindley and Lane help them create YouTube channels of their own. Hannah Rutherford (colloquially Lomadia), Duncan Jones (Lalna or LividCoffee), Paul Sykes (Sjin) and Chris Lovasz (Sips) thus made channels alongside "BlueXephos" to create a "Yogscast network". Since this point, more content creators have joined this group, forming "The Yogscast Family".

The Yogscast was officially incorporated into a registered company on 3 May 2011 by Lewis Brindley.[6] Lewis and Simon then moved operations from their shared home office in Reading, to their new headquarters in Bristol, colloquially dubbed "YogTowers".[3]

The Yogscast team held their own panel at MineCon 2011,[4][7] where they showcased some of the work of the Minecraft community. Following the event, the group came under fire from Minecraft creator Markus Persson, who stated that he would no longer work with the group, citing use of profanity and unprofessional behaviour.[8] These claims were questioned by some MineCon attendees as well as game commentator John Bain.[8] The Yogscast responded on Reddit and via a YouTube video, denying the accusations and expressing their disappointment and frustration with the organisation of MineCon, as well as their respect for Persson and the Minecraft community at large.[9] Markus Persson later apologised for the misunderstanding and retracted his accusations, attributing the statements to stress and miscommunication. To date, however, The Yogscast have not published further coverage of subsequent MineCons, nor have they ever worked professionally with Persson.[10]

In June 2012, The Yogscast's primary channel, YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon,[38] became the first channel in the United Kingdom to reach one billion views.[12] That same year, the group started a Kickstarter campaign to develop a video game called "Yogventures!". The goal of $250,000 was quickly reached, with a full total of $567,000 eventually being raised by 13,647 donators. The project was cancelled, however, in July 2014. Backers were compensated with a copy of the game "TUG" by Nerd Kingdom, who also took hold of all developmental "Yogventures!" artwork and source code.[13]

By July 2017, The Yogscast had:

  • 68 employees;[14]
  • 31 officially noted networked channels;[15]
  • A total of 18,753,000 subscribers on YouTube;
  • A total of 6,792,000,000 video views on YouTube.

Current Staff

Below is a list of all currently known staff.

NameJob TitleYouTube ChannelTwitch ChannelMember SinceRef
Lewis BrindleyManaging Director

2008 (Founder)
Simon LaneCreative Director2008 (Founder)
Hannah RutherfordContent Producer2008
Duncan JonesContent Producer2009
Chris "Sips" LovaszContent Producer

2009
Paul "Sjin" SykesContent Producer2009
Joakim "Rythian" HellstrandContent Producer2009
Martyn LittlewoodContent Producer

2011
Liam "Nilesey" MacKayContent Producer2012
Zoey ProasheckContent Producer2012
Kim RichardsContent Producer2013
Rick "Zylus" Van LaanenContent Producer2012
Ted "Pyrion" ForsytheContent Producer2013
CaffCastContent Producer2016
Christine "HeyChrissa" NicholsonContent Producer2016
David "Vadact"Content Producer2016
Marcella "Nysira" De BieContent Producer2017
Alex SmithContent Producer2013
Chris TrottContent Producer2013
Ross HornbyContent Producer2013
Mark HulmesContent Producer2015
Mark "Turps" TurpinChief Executive Officer2012
Tom ClarkeExecutive Producer2012
Tom BatesVideo Editor2013[35]
Rich KeithChief Revenue Officer2013[35]
Ciaran AskewAnimator2011[35]
Harry MarshallDesigner2011[35]
Nina-SerenaArtist2013[35]
Ben EdgarCommunity Administrator[35]
Mike FlemingMerchandise Manager[35]
JaneDashOperations Assistant2017[35]
Alex TurnerVideo Editor[35]
Matthew ToffoloJunior Video Editor2014[35]
Craig FrostVideo Editor[36]
Tom HazellVideo Editor[36]
Sam GibbsHead Audio Engineer2013[36]
Steve BruceAudio Engineer2015[36]
Becky HardyAudio Engineer2017[36]

Video series

World of Warcraft

The Yogscast's World of Warcraft videos were the first videos released by the Yogscast and largely took the form of parodic how to's. When the Cataclysm expansion set was released, Brindley and Lane also began recording play-through videos. Much of The Yogscast's initial popularity was due to media and blog coverage of these videos, with Joystiq regularly covering them as they were released.[16]

Minecraft

One of the most popular video features of The Yogscast are their many Minecraft series.[4] In December 2010, Brindley and Lane began an ongoing series of Let's Play-style Minecraft survival multiplayer videos. As the series progressed, however, it evolved into a semi-improvised comedy drama named "Shadow of Israphel". This new series led to a boom in the number of the group's YouTube subscribers, though its sporadic release schedule was halted in the summer of 2012, following the release of episode 42. The series has not been officially cancelled.

Live Action

The Yogscast have been able to produce and take part in larger scale projects, including live action video series. The most common of these are the group's coverage of various gaming conventions, as well as RPG sessions and studio-promoted "challenge" videos. Other notable live action productions include a discussion with television and radio presenter Jonathan Ross,[36] and a mockumentary-style interview with actor Warwick Davis,[36] an interview with Sigourney Weaver, a promotional project with Peter Molyneux, and a series of promotional live action sketches with Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft, BBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Universal Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Sony, and some smaller indie developers.

Live series

The Yogscast Christmas Livestreams, also known, as of 2014, as the Yogscast Jingle Jam or the YogJam are a series of livestreams that are shown over the course of December and January each year with the intention to raise money for charity.

High Rollers D&D is a Dungeons and Dragons series being played on the Sunday Tabletop RPG Show, part of the daily Yogscast livestream schedule.The show is broadcast live on the Yogscast Twitch channel on Sundays from 5pm GMT.

Podcasts

The YoGPoD

The YoGPoD podcast was first released on 5 February 2009, and was intended to run alongside the group's YouTube video releases. It often featured other members of the "Yogs" World of Warcraft guild, and were initially released with a proposed weekly schedule. Releases became more sporadic over time, however, to the point that "Episode 42: Strawnana" came 5 months after its predecessor. A new, Halloween-themed YoGPoD was released on 30 October 2012, marking the first podcast from the group in 12 months. On 29 October 2015, the Yogscast released a new Halloween-themed YoGPoD, with intention to continue making more in the future.

The YoGPoD has no strict structure, but one of the more prominent features has Lane impersonate public figures that Brindley then "interviews". Brian Blessed, Warwick Davis and Elizabeth II are often mocked in this fashion.

The podcast reached #1 on the iTunes UK Podcasts chart on 4 July 2012,[19] following the release of 'Episode 42: Strawnana'. After nearly a year of hiatus for the YogPod, the YogPod returned Fall 2015, with classic sequels of "Halloween SpackTacular" and the "YogPod Christmas Special."

Triforce!

In March 2016, the YogPod debuted a new podcast named "Triforce!". Triforce! is a gaming and general discussion podcast hosted by Lewis Brindley, Sips (Chris Lovasz) and Pyrion Flax (Edward Forsyth). The podcast is posted alongside the YoGPoD and features the trio talking about various ideas centred on gaming but also expand to current topics and sporadic thoughts. The structure of the podcast is fairly loose, with an introduction, miscellaneous topics, a gaming section, a reading from Pyrion Flax's homebrew fan fiction "Bodega" (Episode 19 to Episode 43) and a Q and A from Twitter followers at the close of the podcast.

In 2017, the official YoGPoD YouTube channel was rebranded for the Triforce! podcast. A spinoff audiobook style series, titled Bodega, was also debuted. The series features excerpts of the regular Triforce!, podcast where Pyrion Flax narrates his homebrew fanfiction.

Charity initiatives

For the 2011 festive season, The Yogscast team raised money for Oxfam to "send locally-sourced and vaccinated goats to families living in poverty." As of May 2012, a total of £63,780 was raised, exceeding the target goal of £60,000.[37] The Yogscast was named JustGiving's Most Popular Fundraiser of 2012 for this achievement.[37]

For the 2012 holiday season, the Yogscast team did another charity drive for Oxfam,[23] As part of this charity drive, the group hosted a livestream every day in December, with the exception of Christmas Day.[24] working with other YouTube partners such as Hat Films (now long-term associates), GameChap, TotalBiscuit and Athene. "Honeydew's Honey Drive" was successful in raising £210,977.[23] The group were again nominated for JustGiving's Most Popular Fundraiser of 2013, and received a Special Recognition Award at the JustGiving Awards ceremony.[37]

The Yogscast followed this Christmas charity format through to 2013 and 2014, hosting the "Dwarven Dairy Drive"[37] and "Yogscast Jingle Jam"[37] in association with Humble Bundle. These drives raised $1,156,799.80 (~£700,000)[28] and $1,104,882.09, respectively.[29]

The Yogscast continued its annual charity livestream tradition again in 2015, staying with the same "Jingle Jam" theme used in 2014. Like 2013 and 2014, donations were made via the Humble Bundle charity website. The charities included in the 2015 Jingle Jam were Médecins Sans Frontières, Fauna and Flora International, Oxfam, Special Effect, GamesAid, Cancer Research UK, and the Mental Health Foundation. Guests to the live streams included big YouTube personalities including CaptainSparklez, and Tobuscus, who has 6 million subscribers.[37][31] The 2015 Jingle Jam raised $1,052,881.48 while the 2016 Jingle Jam raised a total of $2,577,801. The Jingle Jam is scheduled to continue in December 2017.

Awards and nominations

Award CeremonyAwardRecipientResult
2012Golden Joystick AwardsYouTuber Gamer AwardThe YogscastWon
2013Golden Joystick AwardsYouTuber Gamer AwardThe YogscastWon
2016The Shorty AwardsSocial Media Awards (Gaming)The Yogscast (Lewis and Simon)Nominated[32]