Ex-Machinima execs join popular YouTubers to form 3BlackDot


Machinima has been in the news a lot this year, for both good and bad reasons. While it’s still a powerhouse in its field, as evidenced by its main YouTube channel becoming only the second to pass five billion total views earlier this month, some of its former execs have moved on to work on other projects.

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One of those was unveiled today, as the “influencer-driven entertainment company” 3BlackDot came out of stealth and officially announced its presence. Founded by former Machinima division heads Angelo Pullen and Luke Stepleton, it also has enlisted successful YouTube personalities Adam Montoya (whose SeaNanners Gaming Channel has 4.5 million subscribers) and Tom Cassell (the man behind TheSyndicateProject, which has 7.6 million subscribers). Hank Stepleton, who was an executive producer on Duck Dynasty, is also on board, heading up the company’s production arm, PickAxe.

“3BlackDot is launching with the industry’s most talented professionals in entertainment content creation, game development and brand integrations,” Pullen said in a press release. “Our goal is simple: to deliver audience engagement, entertainment properties and brand value that harnesses the power of Influencer communities.”

That power has already been displayed through the mobile game Zombie Killer Squad, which featured both Montoya and Cassell as playable characters. With a combined audience as large as those men command, the game flipped the script on the usual methods of user acquisition.

“We put zero promotional dollars behind traditional user acquisition, so the immense success of Zombie Killer Squad was due to support from fans of YouTube talent SeaNanners and TheSyndicateProject, both featured in the game,” Stepleton said in a statement.  “We’re building influencer-driven properties into massive franchises, and Zombie Killer Squad is just the beginning for us.”

Thus far, traditional media channels and newer ones like YouTube have often eyed each other warily, but if the latter can be used more effectively to leverage the former, it could be a formula for wild success. For that reason alone, 3BlackDot should be a company worth following — regardless of how you choose to do it.