So Long Machinima
In December 2018, AT&T, owners of the company, moved Machinima to the Otter Media brand (which also houses businesses like Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen) as a means of restructuring. The collection of collaborative gaming videos had been a gaming staple for 20 years. It still boasts a healthy 12 million subscribers on YouTube. Variety confirmed yesterday that Otter Media has laid off almost the entire Machinima staff. In a statement by Otter Media, "Machinima has ceased its remaining operations, which includes layoffs." The GM of Machinima is still around along with a few employees to help oversee transition of content.
The Machinima channel began making videos private in January, eventually turning the channel private. Creators could no longer access their videos nor monetize them. A majority of the creators and staff were unaware that this was happening until it occurred. Many fans posted to Twitter and social media feeds with their shock.
Machinima was originally purchased by Warner Bros. in 2016. Since AT&T's purchase of WB in 2018, the telecommunication company has been consolidating and ending several digital businesses under the WB umbrella such as FilmStruck and DramaFever. By all accounts, Machinima was still profitable, but it may be that AT&T wanted to slim down their portfolio to focus on a handful of key products. Partners with Otter Media will be wary in the coming months.