Machinima, Inc.

Machinima, Inc. was a U.S.-based multiplatform online entertainment network owned by WarnerMedia. The company was founded in January 2000 by Hugh Hancock and was headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
It originated as a hub for its namesake, machinima, which uses and manipulates video-game technology to create animation, as well as featuring articles on machinima and content about film and technology. The website initially helped to bring attention to machinima as an art form and to encourage productions based on game engines other than those of id Software's first-person shooter computer game series Quake. Over time, the website's focus shifted to general entertainment programming centered around video game culture, comic books and fandom.
In 2016, the company was acquired by Warner Bros. Digital Networks. In turn, Warner Bros. was acquired by AT&T in 2018. That December, the company would be re-organized into Otter Media and eventually subsumed by its multi-channel network Fullscreen. In January 2019, Machinima abruptly discontinued their YouTube channels, with their videos set to private. In February 2019, Machinima officially ceased operations.


In December 1999, id Software released Quake III Arena. According to Paul Marino, executive director of the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences, filmmakers who had been using prior versions of the Quake series to record animated videos, then called "Quake movies", were initially excited, but the enthusiasm dampened when id announced that, in an attempt to curtail cheating in multiplayer video games, it would take legal action against anyone who released details of Quake IIIs networking code, which was included in the game's game demo file format. This precluded the use of custom demo-editing tools that had facilitated the creation of videos that used the older Quake and Quake II demo file formats, slowing the release of new Quake movies. Another contributing factor to this decline was that the self-referential nature of the gameplay-related situations and commentary of Quake movies was losing novelty. Marino explained bluntly that "the joke was getting old". Therefore, the Quake movie community needed to reinvent itself.
In January 2000, Hugh Hancock started, a resource for video makers who used computer and video games as a medium. The site's name was foreign to the Quake movie community. The term machinima was originally machinema, from the words machine and cinema. However, Hancock had misspelled the term in a previous email, and the new name stuck because he and Anthony Bailey, who had worked on Quake done Quick, liked the now-embedded reference to anime.
The site opened with multiple articles, interviews, and tutorials, and was soon able to acquire exclusive releases of new productions. One such work, Quad God, was the first to use Quake III Arena and the first to be released in a conventional video file format instead of a demo file format exclusive to a certain game. The switch to conventional media offended some machinima producers, but Quad God, by Tritin Films helped to introduce machinima to a wider audience and to solidify's launch. Matt Kelland, Dave Morris, and Dave Lloyd called the release of Quad God "a key moment in the development of machinima. In turn, as became more popular throughout 2000, other game engines, such as that of Unreal Tournament, became the basis of new productions and the focus of new software tools for machinima.


On January 30, 2006, Hancock announced his resignation as editor-in-chief of and that control of the site would be transferred to the staff of Machinima, Inc. Among the reasons cited for the change were differences in approach to the site and a desire to devote more time to Strange Company's 2006 machinima production BloodSpell. Hancock called the decision "possibly the biggest step I've taken since I founded Strange Company nearly nine years ago".
Towards the end of 2010, Machinima revamped its website and removed the forums, and the ability to upload videos. Since the revamp of their website, Machinima had shifted focus away from actual machinima content. The network now focused on gamer lifestyle and entertainment programming, broadcasting solely through their YouTube channels.
In January 2012, Machinima discontinued podcast feeds on iTunes without an in-feed announcement. Back episodes remained available but no new episodes have appeared on the feed since moving to YouTube exclusively. In June 2012, Machinima partnered with Meteor Entertainment to promote Hawken, a highly anticipated free-to-play online game which was later released in December 2012.
In the same month, Microsoft announced the inclusion of Machinima programming on Xbox Live during the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo. In May 2012, Google invested $35 million into Machinima. It was the first time Google has openly backed a content company by taking an equity stake. In December 2012, announced it was letting go of 23 staff from its workforce. Machinima said the lay-offs were due to re-organizing as part of its global growth strategy, but were still hiring other key divisions whilst these layoffs were happening.
In late 2012, Machinima reached 4th place in YouTube's subscriber rankings with over 5 million subscribers. The only channels preventing Machinima from becoming #1 at the time were Smosh, nigahiga and RayWilliamJohnson, all three of which at the time had over 6 million subscribers. As of December 2018, the channel had over 12 million subscribers.
In early 2014, the main channel briefly returned to uploading original machinima series and movies. In March 2014, Warner Bros. led an $18 million round of funding for Machinima. Around the same time, founder Allen DeBevoise stepped down as CEO and became the new chairman. Former Ovation COO Chad Gutsein was installed in his place. In November 2014, Machinima announced plans to rebrand their network, with a revamped logo and new tagline, "Heroes Rise." A video ID was produced by the Matthew Finio Creative agency with the word "Machinima" whispered by jazz singer Melissa Morgan.
In February 2015, the company raised an additional $42 million in funding led by Warner Bros. Machinima said that the additional funding would be used to accelerate growth through more investments in content and technology to better serve the firm's audiences, advertisers, creators and distributors.
On October 12, 2016, sources told media sites that Warner Bros. was nearing a deal to acquire Machinima and its branded properties. On November 17, 2016, Warner Bros. confirmed the news, thus making Machinima a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros. Digital Networks.


On February 14, 2018, after being integrated into Warner Bros. Digital Networks, Machinima unveiled a new logo and plans to shift its programming back towards game-centric content, and away from the multi-channel network model.
In June 2018, Warner Bros. parent company Time Warner was acquired by AT&T and renamed WarnerMedia. AT&T owns Otter Media, which runs the multi-channel network Fullscreen, Rooster Teeth—which similarly produces gaming-oriented content and web series, and the anime-oriented streaming service Crunchyroll. After the purchase, AT&T bought out Chernin Group's stake in the company, making WarnerMedia the sole owner. In November 2018, Deadline Hollywood reported that AT&T was preparing to reorganize Machinima into Otter Media. The following month, the merger went ahead as part of a larger reorganization of Otter Media, which resulted in layoffs of 10% of the company's workforce.
On January 18, 2019, following the consummation of the reorganization, all content was abruptly set to private on Machinima's YouTube channels. Fullscreen explained that Machinima would now be a unit of Fullscreen, producing content under the Machinima banner while Machinima's partners would migrate into Fullscreen's creator network. Fullscreen GM Beau Bryant stated in an email sent to Machinima partners that they were "going to great lengths 'behind-the-scenes' to ensure a smooth and efficient transition".
On February 1, 2019, Machinima officially announced that they had laid off its 81 employees and ceased remaining operations. The company stated that certain employees were being retained to work for Otter Media, and that Russell Arons was "assisting with transitional activities as she explores new opportunities.” Shortly afterward, it was announced that a number of former Machinima series and shows would move under Rooster Teeth, including a revival of Inside Gaming.


Machinima's content was primarily hosted on various YouTube channels. Content uploaded onto these channels are either produced in-house or by signed directors. Machinima has also utilized social media platforms to provide fans with featured uploads, interactive questions, and live event coverage.

''Inside Gaming''

Inside Gaming was the main editorial brand of Machinima. Coverage of gaming news, previews, and reviews was provided for more than 600,000 weekly viewers through daily and weekly shows on its YouTube channel hosted by then-employee Adam Kovic under the alias "The Dead Pixel". He was often seen in a Halo 3-themed machinima form in his lava-red Recon helmet.
Inside Gaming is the successor to Machinima's discontinued segment, Inside Halo, which was less successful because of the lack of news surrounding the Halo series. Inside Halo was developed and hosted by "Soda God" who alternated weekly hosting with Adam Kovic who became the only host. Eventually an official co-host, Matt Dannevik, joined Kovic on the set of Inside Gaming Daily; he was laid off in December 2012. Producers Bruce Greene and James Willems regularly co-hosted with Kovic, and have started their own YouTube channel under Inside Gaming. Inside Gaming also hosted its own annual awards show, the "Inside Gaming Awards" in Los Angeles. The awards show celebrates the biggest developers and achievements in the video-games industry, and features top gaming choices by viewers and the staff of Inside Gaming. Categories in which games are selected include, among others: Game of the Year, Best Online Multiplayer, and Best Original Games.
On January 26, 2015, Inside Gaming employees Adam Kovic, Bruce Greene, Lawrence Sonntag, Joel Rubin, Sean "Spoole" Poole, James Willems, and Matt Peake announced that they were leaving Machinima. The group is now known as Funhaus, a subsidiary of Rooster Teeth Productions. On April 9, 2015, Matt Dannevik announced in a video that he would be returning to Machinima and taking over the Inside Gaming channel, with help from other members of Machinima.
In February 2019, following the sunset of Machinima, it was announced that Inside Gaming would be revived as a merger with Rooster Teeth's The Know, with Sonntag as editor-in-chief, and Kovic and Greene returning as hosts alongside former IGN journalist Alanah Pearce. It was also announced that Rooster Teeth would also manage the archives of the series.

''ETC News''

ETC News, otherwise known as simply ETC, was Machinima's entertainment news show that started in 2010. The name originally stood for "Entertainment, Technology, Culture." It was originally hosted by Khail Anonymous, who later left the company in 2014 and currently works for Yahoo! News. It was most recently hosted by Machinima employees Ricky Hayberg and Eliot Dewberry, before their departure from the company. Originally airing on the primary Machinima channel the show was moved to its own channel on June 30, 2016, though Ricky and Eliot still worked for Machinima and the show was still owned by them.
ETC Daily was the main show, with weekly shows such as TechNewsDay for technology news, Weekly Weird News for exploring odd headlines and going deeper into "crazy" news stories, News Dump for covering film news, and T.U.G.S. for gaming news meant to satirize what the hosts considered to be game journalists who were far too soft on gaming companies, though the show was later moved to the specialized gaming channel, ETC Party Time. Outside of news, the channel hosted the ETC Podcast, where the hosts interviewed creators such as Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland, Mike Shinoda, Tony Hale, Ed Skrein, Elijah Wood, Kill The Noise, Verne Troyer, Alicia Malone, Kristian Harloff & Mark Ellis, and Dillon Francis.
On June 27, 2018 the duo officially cut ties with ETC News and launched a new YouTube channel known as Internet Today, taking many shows from ETC and continuing them there. ETC Daily was renamed to Internet Today and T.U.G.S. was officially canceled. The ETC Podcast was reworked into Idiots Watching Anime, a full series version of a few episodes they did of the ETC Podcast where the two hosts watched a few episodes of Dragon Ball Z, a show they were both unfamiliar with, and discussed it with the friends who suggested the episodes.

''Machinima Live''

Machinima previously held livestreams on the Machinima Live YouTube channel. Currently, the network streams on Twitch, with their channel hosting gameplay events, convention coverage, and more. Machinima Live also had 24-hour live streams, such as one that took place in 2010 after the release of '. Machinima staff, directors, and guests took part in playing the game in four-hour shifts in an attempt to reach the 15th prestige. A similar event also occurred after the release of '.

''Machinima VS''

In 2012, Machinima branched out to the competitive side of gaming with the inclusion of Machinima VS, a channel featuring event coverage from some top-ranked players, teams, and casters. It served as Machinima's Esports channel. The channel has since become inactive.

''Machinima Respawn''

On December 7, 2009, the Machinima Respawn channel was launched as Machinima's gameplay-focused channel. It had a host of shows about games and related topics as well as the show Respawn hosted by Adam Montoya, Scott Robison, and Shaun Hutchinson. Inbox was a later show that gained a cult following for its comedy and the funny personalities of the hosts Scott Fisher and Scott Robison. At one point Machinima Respawn was one of the most subscribed channels on YouTube. Due to budget cuts at Machinima, the lack of views of the newer programming on Respawn in later years, and the departure of Scott Robison, Shaun Hutchinson and Adam Montoya along with Scott Fisher, Machinima Respawn was discontinued, not having been active since February 22, 2015. The efforts from Respawn were shuttered, and company focus in terms of gameplay driven series were put further more into Machinima Realm, which was later renamed Realm Games.

''Realm Games''

Originally launched as Machinima Realm in 2010, Realm Games was one of Machinima's key primarily gameplay-focused franchises. Originally only focusing on MMOs and real-time strategy games among other genres, it has since become Machinima's primary hub for content creator gameplay content after the closure of Machinima Respawn. Realm also developed original animation series, and one-off creations, such as 'Beyond the Rift' a League of Legends cinematic, focusing on a two character fight scene between Jax and Veigar. Beyond the Rift hit 1,000,000 views within a 52-hour period, and reached the front page of Reddit as a viral hit. The channel also was home to the most successful League of Legends gameplay series of all time on YouTube called 'Random LoL Moments.' Amassing over 500 episodes, across a 5-year span. The Realm Games franchise was operated by Shane Burruss from 2013, up until the company closed its doors in January 2019. Before the Machinima channels, including Realm went private, the focus was mostly Overwatch and League of Legends content.

Original programming

''Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series''

On May 18, 2009, Machinima released Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series, an animated web series set before the video game and leading to the events of the film, comprising six episodes. The series is set in 2016 and follows Blair Williams who is fighting the war against the machines in downtown Los Angeles, while tracking down the computer hacker named Laz Howard and trying to pursue him to join sides with the resistance. The series was created using real-time computer animation from the video game. It was distributed by Warner Premiere, and produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision and The Halcyon Company.

''Mortal Kombat: Legacy''

On April 11, 2011, Machinima aired ', a live-action series produced by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Premiere featuring Michael Jai White, Darren Shahlavi, and Jeri Ryan. Based on the Mortal Kombat series, Legacy succeeds the short film ', which takes place in an alternate universe. This series was aired exclusively on the Machinima YouTube channel and served over 60 million combined views.

''Bite Me''

Bite Me was a two-season, web series released on December 31, 2010, about three gamers as they find themselves in the midst of a real-life zombie outbreak. Relying only on the knowledge and skills they have gain from years of gaming, they drop the controller and pick up anything that can be used as a weapon. For the first season of the show, Machinima partnered with Microsoft and Capcom and accumulated over 14 million viewers. The second season was released on March 6, 2012, and was also aired on FEARnet, a horror cable network.

''Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist''

On May 23, 2014, Machinima aired , a live-action Street Fighter series produced by Capcom and created by Joey Ansah and Christian Howard who made the popular short film , reprising their roles as Ken and Akuma from the film.

''Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles''

In 2014, Machinima announced that they would air a three-part animated series titled ' which would serve as a companion to the animated movie, '. In May 2015, before the series even debuted, Machinima and DC Entertainment revealed that it had been renewed for a ten-episode second season to air in 2016. The first season launched on June 8, 2015, over two weeks before the movie was released. Series creator Sam Liu would later report that the series was shelved and that he had "moved on to other projects."


In May 2015 it was revealed that Machinima, in co-development with Blue Ribbon Content and DC Entertainment is developing a live-action adaptation of the DC Comics' cult-favorite classic Dial H for Hero, called #4Hero. It was described as a VFX-heavy action-comedy about a young woman named Nellie Tribble who gets her powers from a smartphone app that allows her to instantly become a super hero for a short period of time. Her superpowers are dictated by whatever is trending on social media at that moment.

''DC's Hero Project''

DC's Hero Project is a contest show developed by Machinima, Blue Ribbon Content, and DC Entertainment. The show is about finding "the next great creator for the world of DC Comics". It is described as a contest between eight competitors who compete in elimination challenges to develop a live-action short video based on their interpretations of the characters from DC Comics' Starman series. One of the confirmed judges was bestselling writer, and DC Entertainment chief creative officer, Geoff Johns.

''Street Fighter: Resurrection''

Street Fighter: Resurrection streamed exclusively on go90 in March 2016.

''Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy''

Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy is a trilogy of animated series created in partnership with Hasbro for go90. It is based on Hasbro's Transformers franchise and set in the continuity family. It is split into three parts, Combiner Wars, Titans Return and Power of the Primes, drawing inspiration from the toylines of the same name as well as the story line from IDW Publishing's The Transformers.


Machinima developed a premium channel to feature quality content produced by network content creators along with major production companies and Hollywood studios known as Machinima Prime. Weekly shows that run on Prime include Life on the Road, XARM, Prank Lab, and Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. After a year-long hiatus, the channel was relaunched on August 17, 2016 and rebranded as Primr, with all previously uploaded videos and series being made private. Some of the short films uploaded on the channel have since been reinstated, while its series remain hidden. The channel has since become inactive.

List of series

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
Prank Lab
Tainted Love

Happy Hour

Happy Hour was a block focusing on animation. Eventually, the channel and block were shelved, with the channel being inactive since August 18, 2015, with no new episodes from any of its exclusive shows since July 28, 2015. The shows moved from the primary Machinima channel and were moved back after Happy Hour's discontinuation. However, the channel resurfaced on September 7, 2016, with the premiere of the fourth season of Happy Hour Saloon, an animated series that parodies video games. It stopped uploading content again on November 11, 2016.

List of series

Battlefield Friends
A Halo 3 machinima created by Darkspire Films and hosted on both YouTube and, it was a popular series made up of various comedic recordings starring three players: John, Vincent, and Travis.
Arby 'n' the Chief
Sanity Not Included
Sonic For Hire
Two Best Friends Funtime Adventures

Expansion of distribution media

Machinima, Inc. had expanded on to many websites and platforms to distribute its content currently maintaining the main website, eleven YouTube channels, an iPhone/iPad application, an Android application, Facebook applications, Facebook/Twitter/Google+ feeds, and a newsletter that distributes news content.
Previously, Machinima had an application on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Both consoles have since removed the Machinima app from their app store.

Social media integration

Machinima used a variety of social networking services including Facebook and Twitter as distribution platforms for its productions. It was integrated with Apple IOS and Microsoft Xbox Live service. Machinima frequently posted content on various social networks core to the concept of sharing and generating hits for Machinima videos.
Machinima's partnership with Google included Google's £30 million investment in Machinima.


As a multi-channel network, Machinima had over 5,000 partners worldwide who were contracted to produce video content under the Machinima brand. The company had been criticised for the use of perpetual contracts. Ben Vacas, known to the YouTube community as 'Braindeadly', attracted media attention in January 2013 over contractual issues with Machinima. Under the terms of his contract, Machinima was permitted to place advertisements on Vacas's videos and in return he would receive a percentage of the profits generated. However, the contract also disclosed that it existed "in perpetuity" meaning Machinima would hold the rights to any content created by Vacas, published on his partnered YouTube channel, in his lifetime, a detail Vacas failed to read.
In January 2014, Machinima was alleged to be paying its YouTube video partners for showing Xbox One content. According to reports, the content must be at least 30 seconds long and the Xbox One must be mentioned by name. An accompanying legal agreement also states that the partner "may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its games". Additionally, the agreement states that the video producer must keep the details of the promotional agreement confidential, or they do not qualify for the promotional payment. Videos participating in this promotion would tag their videos with the tag: XB1M13. Microsoft claims that it had no knowledge of the promotion.
Machinima has faced criticism from YouTube members and viewers for a lack of transparency with its associates, placing advertisements on their associate channels' videos without permission, and a lack of transparency on the revenues side. One associate member, Clash, also criticised Machinima for insensitively placing an ad on a video dedicated to his ailing dog.
On September 2, 2015, Machinima agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it engaged in deceptive advertising by paying “influencers” to post YouTube videos endorsing Microsoft's Xbox One system and several games. The FTC claimed that the influencers failed to adequately disclose that they were being paid for their seemingly objective opinions. Under the proposed settlement, Machinima was prohibited from similar deceptive conduct in the future, and it was required to ensure its influencers clearly disclosed when they are compensated for their endorsements. According to the FTC's complaint, Machinima and its influencers were part of an Xbox One marketing campaign managed by Microsoft's advertising agency, Starcom MediaVest Group. Machinima guaranteed Starcom that the influencer videos would be viewed at least 19 million times.
On May 9, 2018, Arby 'N' The Chief creator Jon Graham tweeted that most of the series was removed from Machinima's YouTube channel for unspecified reasons.
In January 2019, Machinima abruptly discontinued their YouTube channels, with all their videos set to private. Several Machinima series were later uploaded to Rooster Teeth's website.