Felix Kjellberg, better known to his 11.9 million subscribers as PewDiePie, has officially crushed YouTube under his well-manicured Swedish fist. As of August 15, PewDiePie has become the number one channel on YouTube, with over 2.2 billion views. That's more than your Taylor Swift, your Miley Cyrus, and your Justin Bieber.
With his series of 'Let's Play' videos consistently garnering millions of views, this Swedish born video game enthusiast has amassed a massive following. PewDiePie and his infectiously contagious positivity is a hallmark of his work. He took some time our of his victory lap to talk with us about success, the Oculus Rift, and what it means to be the king of YouTube.
You've just become the most subscribed channel on all of YouTube with 11.9 million subscribers and more than 2.2 billion video views. How are you celebrating?
Staying busy (laughs), I'm just working a lot. I'm still making new videos for the channel and staying positive. Just still having a ton of fun.
Was this part of a larger, grander plan when you started making videos for YouTube? Where you always planning on conquering YouTube?
When I started my YouTube channel in 2010, I never imagined that one day it would be the most subscribed channel in the world and that I would be a part of such a great community.
You have one of the most loyal and devoted fan bases of anyone on the Internet. You've a got a legion of bros that tune in to watch your channel. What do you attribute that success to?
I don't know what people see in me (laughs), seriously. I think it's a combination of a million things that keep my fans happy. I think playing games makes people happy and people who watch my videos can tell that we're genuinely having a great time.
You've got more people subscribed to your channel than Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, but many people outside of gaming have no idea who you are. Can you explain your appeal to a non-gamer?
I think that people can tell that we're actually having a good time and that translates most easily though our videos. I'm a very positive person and I think people can tell that we are all having a lot of fun. Plus, video games. Everyone has played video games at some point these days and video games are fun.
You affectionately refer to your legion of fans as 'bros', you don't strike me as an overt bro in the traditional sense. Why did you choose 'bro' as the label your fans would wear?
It started as an inside joke a long time ago and it was a way to make a connection with the fans I had at the time. It was a way to make watching the YouTube videos more like hanging out, it was a fun way to connect with the people watching.
We've got two new consoles dropping this fall, what are you looking forward to most and what are you playing right now?
I've been spending a lot of time with the Oculus Rift..
(Laughs) Are you jealous?
That thing is the future of gaming. I know that's a phrase the industry love to toss around, but...
No, it's amazing. Once they get the vertigo/balance thing figured out, everyone will have one. I've been playing a ton of really scary, indie horror titles. I've been spending a lot of time with Outlast and Dreadout, which are two amazing indie titles that are going to be huge when they're released.
You're known to be a bit of an altruist and a champion for some pretty notable charities. What's the draw and which charities do you work with?
I've been working with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) for a while now. I'm just so very lucky to be able to do what I do for a living and giving back is a way for me to express my gratitude. I'm so lucky to be in a position to help people and that's appealing to me.
You even started a charity organization of your very own.
Yeah, my Charity: Water campaign has already raised over $200,000 for clean drinking water in the developing world. Our goal is to raise $250,000 and take %100 of that to fund clean water projects. I'm really excited about the project and we have almost hit our goal.
What does the future hold for the most subscribed channel on YouTube?
I'd like to work even more! We have the chance to expand and begin even more projects. I want to keep making videos, keep working with charity organizations, and I have some side dreams I'm hoping to make come true.
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