Guy “Dr Disrespect” Beahm is looking to launch his own game development studio, according to a job posting listed on his Champion's Club website. It's a major but in some ways unsurprising move for the streamer, considering he used to work at Call of Duty developer Activision as a level designer before deciding to spend his life wearing a wig and sunglasses.
The unnamed studio, however, does have one surprising thing about it: It will make games by collaborating with different “mega influencers.”
Right now only a studio head position is listed, presumably as a first step toward outlining the project, but the job description does give some insights into how the studio will supposedly function. “The studio plans to forge a partnership with a select list of mega influencers and then work closely with them to launch their dream gaming title,” the ad reads. “Those gaming titles will either be incubated and developed OR partner/co develop with existing indie game developers and launched as mega titles.”
A lot of games already make influencers a major part of their marketing strategy, so joining forces with influencers to design and promote games from pre-alpha to launch is perhaps the natural next step for these business arrangements. The application also mentions esports and monetization, which gives some major clues as to what types of games Beahm is hoping to create—free-to-play competitive shooters, anyone?
I can't help but be skeptical. There's a potentially big gulf between a “dream game” concocted by a popular Twitch streamer and something that's actually playable, fun, and commercially viable. Many of the FPS influencers I follow are very vocal about the superfine technical shortcomings of games like Apex Legends and PUBG, which could lead such a project to over-emphasize these aspects. It'll be interesting to see how such a project courts ordinary players while presumably catering to the tastes of elite performers. Then again, Valorant is partly developed by some former CS:GO pros, and it turned out pretty good.
There's also the lingering issue of Beahm's sudden and mysterious ban from Twitch last year during a time when the gaming industry was grappling with widespread stories of harassment and abuse. Twitch never specified why it suddenly terminated Beahm's Twitch account despite Beahm telling us in an interview that he had done nothing to violate his multi-million-dollar exclusivity deal with the streaming platform. Though rumors abounded, no concrete information ever surfaced explaining what had actually happened. Weeks later, Beahm switched over to streaming on YouTube where he's been quietly doing his thing ever since.
If you dream of making “mega titles” with “mega influencers” you can check out the job application here.