The chart, which ranks YouTube gaming channels based on their monthly views, reveals that seven had more than 100m views in September, led by YouTube’s biggest star PewDiePie with 392.1m views that month.
All four channels belong to multi-channel network (MCN) Maker Studios, which was acquired by Disney earlier this year in a deal that could eventually be worth up to $950m.
The company has become one of the new powerhouses of games media, with 22 of the top 100 YouTube games channels under its umbrella. Its closest rival is Machinima, which accounted for 17 of the top 100 in September.
42 of the top 100 YouTube games channels that month are based in the US, while 14 hail from the UK – 15 if you include PewDiePie – aka Felix Kjellberg – whose channel is classified under his Swedish nationality, although he lives in Brighton.
British YouTuber Olajide Olatunji – known as KSI on the service – owned the fastest-growing games channel in September. His second channel KSIOajidebtHD saw its views rise 185% month-on-month to 35.1m in September, catching up with his main channel’s 51.2m views.
Gaming is huge on YouTube, perhaps second only to music on the service, thanks to a mixture of “Let’s Play” walkthroughs, reviews and comedy skits.
Some games publishers make it into the top 100 too: Angry Birds developer Rovio owned the 44th most popular games channel in September with 30.1m views, ahead of League of Legends maker Riot Games (28.9m) and the official channel for console game Destiny (22.8m).
The chart makes clear the extent to which YouTubers and MCNs are reaching large audiences on YouTube ahead of existing games media companies. That said, IGNs channel was 11th in the rankings with 82.8m views in September, while Gamespot’s channel was 51st with 26.4m views.
The rise of YouTube games channels is provoking growing debate within the games industry about commercial issues, from the amounts demanded by some YouTubers to feature a game in their videos, to how such payments should be disclosed to their audiences.
There may be a shakeup to come in the world of MCNs and gaming, too. Earlier in October, PewDiePie hinted at plans to strike out alone when his contract with Maker Studios runs out, when asked about the idea of setting up his own MCN in an interview for Swedish magazine Icon.
“Yes, but I’d rather not talk too much about it. I’m in touch with a couple of people who I think would be so right for this. I’m eager to get it all up and running. So far, all the networks have been managed in such an incredibly poor way, it’s embarrassing really. I’d like to help other YouTubers,” said Kjellberg.
He later rowed back from the comments after they were reported in the Wall Street Journal. “I feel like I was misquoted in the WSJ and I’m really happy with the work that Maker has been doing for me,” tweeted Kjellberg.
Even so, what the Tubefilter/OpenSlate chart shows is that a PewDiePie-led collective of YouTube gamers could instantly have a huge reach, and considerable clout within the games industry.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 22nd October 2014 09.31 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010