YouTube king Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg has finally responded to the outrage sparked by his recent VTuber switch, with many in the community accusing him of “profiting” from a trend that dedicated indie creators have built up over the years.
PewDiePie returned from his extended break with a surprising change: He’s no longer showing his face, instead opting to become a ‘VTuber’ by using a stylized avatar in his place.
VTubers (short for “virtual YouTubers”) have been around for quite some time. Generally, these content creators use custom, anime-style avatars instead of showing their face online. A good number of VTubers have become wildly popular as a result, including the likes of Japan’s Kizuna Ai and American VTuber Projekt Melody.
It seems that PewDiePie’s addition to the mix has not been well-received, though, with many in the VTuber fandom and even fellow VTubers themselves hitting out at the platform’s most-subscribed independent creator for “hopping on a bandwagon.”
While this isn’t the first time popular creators have been blasted for joining the hype (see the outrage against Pokimane’s decision to do the same), PewDiePie instantly became the brunt of incredible ire from the community — and he’s finally reacted to the hate.
In a February 4 YouTube video, Kjellberg admitted that he is actually losing money over his decision to withhold his face from videos, rather than “cashing in” on the trend as some believe.
“Where’s the money?” he laughed. “Where’s the VTuber money I was promised? This is bullshit! If anything, I just pissed off brands, because I was supposed to do brand deals, and they were like, ‘Well, you need to show your face.’ If anything, I lose money for this.”
“No matter what, you’re always going to have dumb people online,” he continued. “This is the problem with the internet, in general — people throwing their opinions out there. Your opinion don’t matter!”
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That’s not all; he even admitted that he didn’t intend to become a VTuber full-time as many fans and critics believed, and had actually begun the whole charade as a joke (which explains why he hasn’t gone all-out on an extremely detailed avatar).
There’s no telling how long PewDiePie will keep up his faceless videos, but it doesn’t look like he’s bothered by all the backlash coming his way, regardless.