YouTuber Joe “Angry Joe” Vargas is famous for his funny game reviews, but over the years, the growth of his channel has put a strain on his ability to produce them. After announcing he was taking a break from game reviews for two months, fans have lashed out at the creator, who has since disabled comments on his videos.
Vargas’ YouTube series, Angry Reviews, are long, detailed affairs, with short sketches, costumes and special effects. Vargas estimates that these videos take at least a week to finish if he works as fast as possible. In between reviews, he has started to do other kinds of videos, like Let’s Plays and movie reviews, and this content historically doesn’t perform as well as his reviews. While an Angry Review can reach views in the millions, his other content hovers between four hundred and six hundred thousand views. Vargas has over 2 million subscribers on YouTube, and according to him, many of them only want to see Angry Reviews. In an effort to produce content at regular intervals, six months ago Vargas released a schedule video that had him producing two Angry Reviews every month.
On July 14th, Vargas announced that his content plan was not working out, and that he was going to take a two month vacation from producing his channel’s hallmark review series. “We know we’re gonna review Destiny 2, for sure, we know we’re gonna review Total Warhammer 2,” he said, “but we looked it up, and those aren’t ‘til September.” Vargas said he wouldn’t be ceasing production altogether, just easing back on the kind of video that takes up most of his time until the releases of those bigger games. In a later video, Vargas even gets into the numbers on his channel, showing that July and August have always been drier months for him in regards to doing Angry Reviews. According to Vargas, this is his first break in nine years.
Fans weren’t happy about this turn of events. While most of the comments were civil in expressing their unhappiness at this development, one highly rated comment called Vargas a lazy cunt, while another said, “This is slowly going down the shitter like a 3 foot anus log.” Over and over again, fans express disappointment and sometimes anger over not having more Angry Reviews.
In video released yesterday, Vargas further explained a condition of his vacation: disabling comments on videos. In the half hour video, Vargas explains that people were commenting en masse on the videos he put up during his hiatus, asking for game reviews. He cites the comments on one of his video game related videos—impressions on a game called Squad—as being the tipping point for him. The comments on this video for yesterday are indicative of how on edge his fanbase is right now. For every comment telling Vargas it’s okay to take a break, there are two telling him he’s a “lazy sack of shit.”
“It’s a concerted effort from haters and trolls and people who are easily manipulated, and now they have tried to destroy my other content,” he says. “What happened with the comments is that they devolved into shouting matches, and when I saw that that happened on a video game related video … that’s when I was like okay, enough, enough.
“The schedule video is probably the worst thing I could have done,” he says. “If you’re a creative based YouTuber, don’t create for yourself some schedule. People thought that I swore and I promised in the video that I would stick to the schedule. … When you go back and watch the video, I never said that this is set in stone. I even said this is not set in stone, we’re experimenting with this, we just want to have more regular content.” In his video from six months ago, Vargas does say that they are “trying out,” a new schedule and that some things may take more time.
This isn’t the first time that Vargas has had to address his audience regarding his schedule and needing to take a break. In December of 2016, Vargas tried bargaining with his audience, explaining his burnout and a desire to take a break “I can do two reviews a month, and if you are happy with that can I have permission to do my movie reviews?”
Vargas’s channel has been deemphasizing gaming content over the years, but that isn’t surprising: other top gaming channels, like Markiplier and Pewdiepie, have also branched out into other genres. While many channels try pivoting away from the kinds of videos that made them popular, the transition can be difficult thanks to the intense expectations of longtime fans.