Now that it is fully integrated into Warner Bros.’ digital networks division, Machinima today announced a rebranding — with its longtime red-and-black logo turning green — as well as refinements to its distribution and talent strategy.
The gamer brand, whose properties attract more than 140 million monthly views, is signaling its evolution from a traditional multi-channel network (MCN) to a content provider focused on the intersection of gamer culture and entertainment. Founded back in 2000, Machinima was acquired in full by Warner Bros. in November 2016.
“As we integrated into the Warner Bros. family, we were able to truly take the time to evaluate what Machinima is and what our true ‘north’ is,” said Machinima chief Russell Arons. “We have gone through an incredible transformation from a YouTube network to a cross-platform gamer entertainment service with substantial scale. Now, we want to truly define what that means and what we are. With our new brand identity, we are looking to evolve our brand presence to further excite our talent, fans and partners.”
Rather than pursuing any subscription offerings, Arons told Deadline that distribution across platforms is the goal. “Because Machinima started with more of an open-platform approach, we haven’t been tempted to shift into a subscription model,” she said. “Our strategy has been diversification of platforms so that we can monetize in more places and more places and we can reach more audiences.”
Machinima, for example, became one of a select group to launch a 24/7 channel on the streaming platform Twitch and launched its first original series for Facebook Watch, the reality gamer dating series Co-op Connection. The company will be launching its next two Facebook series, Gaming Rap Battles and Win, Mine or Die, this spring.
Led by series such as Chasing the Cup and Transformers: Titans Return, Machinima has also been a programming launch partner for Verizon’s go90 service, Amazon Video Direct, Xumo, VRV and Comcast Watchable. It also delivers content in Europe and other international markets and through Sohu, which gives Machinima a presence in the enormous Chinese market.
“Machinima is building on a solid foundation that is resonating with its growing audience while celebrating the best fandoms and gamer content,” said Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy for Warner Bros. Television Group and president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks. “This rebranding highlights Machinima as one of the most unique and successful platforms in the industry.”
Over the past year of integrating with Warner Bros., Machinima has become a key marketing partner for studio divisions, including WB Pictures, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment and The CW. It has launched influencer-driven content initiatives for multiple studio properties, including New Line Cinema’s IT, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Kong: Skull Island, DCE’s Doomsday Clock, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Injustice 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of War and many others.
As a testament to the role Machinima plays at the studio, its new logo is being unveiled today in a billboard on the exterior of the Warner lot in Burbank, alongside others for recent tentpole releases like Dunkirk.