UPDATE 12/9 11:47 AM: Just as some predicted, Kjellberg trolled everyone by deleting his secondary channel.
Last week, YouTube’s biggest star swore that once he hit 50 million subscribers, he was going to delete his popular video game comedy channel. Today, Felix Kjellberg hit that fated number...and the channel is still up.
For now, he claims.
(That’s Friday, 12 PM EST.)
Lots of people watched Kjellberg’s original announcement with disbelief: could someone really just throw away such a big audience after six years of building it up? Many believed that the whole thing was just a stunt to drive up subscribers, or a troll meant to trick everyone. Some pointed toward Kjellberg’s secondary channel, Jack septiceye2, as a potential deletion target: in that case, the video game YouTuber could delete “his” channel without much consequence, leaving his main channel and its massive viewership intact. Despite all the skepticism, many watched closely, setting up livestreams to monitor the numbers, or opted to watch subscriber counts in real time, just to see what would happen, all the while Kjellberg stoked the flames on social media. The potential deletion of Pewdiepie’s channel has been the hottest topic on YouTube for a week now.
The reality of the situation is still unclear. Is Kjellberg, the most famous video game personality on YouTube, actually going to keep to his word, or is he just extending a ruse a little while longer? An optimistic theory would be that he is now taking the time to give the channel a proper sendoff with a formal video, rather than just deleting it unceremoniously. That would be the nice thing to do for fans, anyway.
For reference, here are Pewdiepie’s most popular videos before deletion:
Note that most of them were created years ago, which tracks with Kjellberg’s assertion that lately, his footage just wasn’t attracting the same (massive) numbers that he had become accustomed to—which is partially the motivation for getting rid of his channel, Kjellberg’s claimed.
If Kjellberg does keep to his word, that doesn’t necessarily mean that years of work have gone down the drain, however. Kjellberg’s screams have been re-uploaded by fans, often in the form of reaction videos. Some downloaded entire videos for the sake of archive, in preparation. Pewdiepie will live on, one way or another.
Most people are congratulating Kjellberg right now for hitting such a big milestone, even if there’s still some skepticism on whether or not the deletion stuff is all an act:
Kjellberg, for his part, is also festive right now:
Kjellberg is also slated to appear on a new season of Scare Pewdiepie next year, which is his YouTube Red premium show, and he is also collaborating with one of the creators of Goat Simulator to create new games. If he does delete his channel as promised, it sounds like Kjellberg will have plenty to keep him busy.