THE CURIOUS CASE OF SKAPEGOTE

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The curious case of SkapeGote

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The 2020 pandemic made changes in lives of many, many people - for most it was negative impact, but as this article should highlight, for some it might have been a blessing in disguise. It is the curious case of SkapeGote, a Canadian man, who by accident became a youtuber.


The curious case of SkapeGote

No, this isn’t another example of a video going viral and starting someone’s career (that will end 2 months later) because this curious case is slightly different from the previous ones. It isn’t a story of failure, it is a story of success. Sort of. In 2020, a Canadian man, who made a YouTube channel called SkapeGote started to play The Long Drive, a game that was a surprising success on Steam.

What is The Long Drive? It is what it sounds - you take a car for a long, long drive. Yes, there is a bit more to it, you can find spare parts, you can replace the whole engine, refill the fluids, etc. But generally, it is exactly what it sounds like - a really long drive in a randomly generated barren area in a (supposedly) post-apocalyptic reality. The game is very simple, it is still (after a few years) in early access, it is a bare-bones kind of game with the aim to take a 5000 kilometres trip to your mother.

What this got to do with SkapeGote and his channel? He started to play this game on YouTube on 17th June 2020 and uploading every few days another episode of 50 or 100 km of distance. He was recording it in small parts because he had to go to work, so he could not just spend the whole day playing a game. The effect? Within a few weeks, he went from 40 subscribers on his channel to 300, after 2 months, he reached over 4 thousand subscribers, who were watching him playing the extremely boring game in small bits before he got to work.

When he finally reached the end of the game, in December 2020, his video reached over 500,000 views. There was a small disappointment though - when you finally reach the 5000-kilometre distance to join your mother, there is nothing awaiting you. I don’t mean there was no cake and something to drink, there was literally nothing - the road just ends, there is no house or anything. The creator of the game did not programmed the ending yet into the product, so that was kind of anti-climatic. But what happened to SkapeGote? Well, he started the trip back home!

So far, he made 5 trips there and back in different cars, trying different approaches, he expanded into other similar games, and his channel is actually still growing, almost 3 years later. Why? I have no idea. He is a good entertainer, I guess, since he is able to make people watch hours after hours of The Long Drive. Of course, his viewership is far from what it was during the peak of popularity, back in 2020, but still, it is impressive that he can move from 40 subscribers to 40 thousand and keep people interested.

That’s why this curious case was different from the others - while channels like OutsideXbox or PhlyDaily went from huge success to surprising decline, it is important to notice a small success of people, who may never reach the headlines, but are good in what they do, like SkapeGote. He did not follow the usual path of beginners on YouTube by chasing after popular topics, he found his niche, something that he is interested in, and the way to make other people interested in it as well. Well played SkapeGote, well played indeed!



06-09-2023


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Can you solve this cold case?
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