At the age of 34, MisterFlak has become a full-time gaming YouTuber with more than 100 000 subscribers on his channel. The South African gamer now earns his income from the video sharing platform and his passion for gaming.
While the Youtuber calls himself an “outoppie” (from the older generation), the outoppie can brag anything from 20 000 to more than 100 000 views on many of his YouTube videos, which all share content around the popular multiplayer survival game. Every so often he’ll post tech reviews and branded content, but RUST dominates his video content. However, his earliest gaming memory was playing the original Mario Bros on NES. He says he was blown away by how complex and detailed the game world was: “6 year old me was like OMG, photorealism!”
His RUST focus came about because of the nature of the game. RUST is an adventure and not just a streamer, which he says gives him a chance to be far more diverse in his offering: “Sure you can use RUST as a shooter, but at the same time you can go gamble at a casino, build a farm, start a shop, modify vehicles and explore vast maps which change every week. The biggest factor is the in game voice chat. You can physically talk to any stranger you meet and, with that, a new and possibly exciting adventure unfolds every time you log on.”
Many new content creators debate whether to focus on one game or to diversify their offering. MisterFlak says growth is easier as a single game YouTuber, but it also locks you in to the title which can make you feel your content is a little stale after a few years. However, he points out that variety channels can be very difficult to grow, even if it allows the creator freedom to work on something fresh. His advice to new content creators? Make the stuff you love to watch: “I get asked for advice often and I tell people the same thing. Make the type of content you love to consume and make it well. YouTube is flooded right now, so treat every upload you make like an audition to the viewer. Often you have one opportunity to turn a stranger that has just landed on your video into either a subscriber or a person that clicks the back arrow.”
Turning gaming content creation into a full time gig in smaller regions like South Africa is extremely difficult. MisterFlak thinks his success is because he is relatable. He describes himself as the cool Dad guy that plays video games poorly and has a ball doing it. His current YouTube analytics indicate that 80% of his viewers are between 22 and 35 years old. It did take him a year and a half to turn his passion into a source of income, though: “I despised my previous job so much I actually prematurely quit! I was getting tormented one day and decided on the spot to quit. Financially, we weren’t ready yet, but I decided to take being broke over miserably any day. With my wife at my side, we buckled down and made it work somehow.” MisterFlak says his wife was very proud and supportive over his career choice while his 12 year old YouTube obsessed daughter thinks he is a literal Rockstar and brags about him at school.
While MisterFlak’s platform of choice is YouTube, many young gaming creators are moving to Twitch for live streaming, he believes there is still space for new creators on YouTube: “YouTube has the budget to compete with Twitch but I do think they’re going about it the wrong way. Twitch is for streaming, period. YouTube is currently offering videos, live streaming and more recently #shorts like a TikTok copycat. The algorithm can also negatively impact your videos if you choose to live stream on YouTube as well. I do think this is why most streamers and viewers automatically edge towards Twitch.”
As his subscriber count climbs and MisterFlak continues to grow as one of the most successful gaming content creators locally, he is rather humble in his success and his future plans:
“I don’t chase wealth or material things so I don’t really work as hard as I can. If the bond is paid and the fridge is full, I’m happy. So in the next few years I’m hoping my plans will include more RUST, more gardening and more books!”