Variety is an essential tool in growing a YouTube channel. With thousands of new releases every year, gaming channels seemingly have a built-in advantage. Mumbo Jumbo, who operates outside of the norm, has managed to thrive by sticking with a single game for nearly a decade.
Carving out a niche on YouTube is a difficult task even amongst the gaming community. While many work hard to diversify their content through the games they play—keeping current with the slew of new releases—others develop their entire brand around a single title.
Oli (better known as Mumbo Jumbo) is among these and has managed to accrue well over six million subscribers with his Minecraft content.
With a plethora of gaming channels out there, it is an uphill task for a content creator to stand out. That is not to mention the sheer amount of content based on Minecraft in general!
Since 2009, Minecraft has been a juggernaut in the gaming community. Arriving just a few years after the launch of YouTube in general, videos from the game flooded the web. This insurgence enticed a larger group of players to seek out the game and test out their creations.
More than a decade later, it is still one of the most popular games for players and content creators alike. There are numerous reasons for the longevity it has enjoyed.
A steady stream of updates to the mechanics/gameplay has kept the gameplay feel fresh and engaging for players. Media partnerships with merchandise and all manner of toys have kept it at the forefront of pop-culture.
Regardless of the upgrades over the years, the core concept of its gameplay endures as the game’s biggest hook: allowing players to do/create pretty much anything.
Whether it is building a dream house, recreating iconic locations, adventuring with friends or building elaborate contraptions, there is no limit to what you can do.
Whether it is building a dream house, recreating iconic locations, adventuring with friends or building elaborate contraptions, there is no limit to what you can do. Thanks to mods and clever creators, gamers can even experience different genres within the game itself! In many ways, Minecraft has made itself virtually future-proof.
Making a name for himself
Mumbo Jumbo has tapped into this by developing content that appeals to gamers of all skill and age ranges. Originally started in 2012, Mumbo’s channel garnered attention by putting the focus squarely on the technical aspects of the game.
Through his “Redstone” server videos, he demonstrated how he made complicated machines (elevators, text reels, automated tools, etc.) along with his methods of efficiently playing the game.
Minecraft came out of alpha/beta and launched in 2011, which means Mumbo Jumbo was among the earlier YouTubers covering the release. His basic tutorial videos appealed to viewers who were just getting started. Meanwhile, the more complex creations hooked in the gamers who had been playing since the alpha launch in 2009.
Leveraging the entertainment factor of some of his creations (e.g., a robot-esque moving house) with his easy to follow instructions, Mumbo became a channel to watch within the Minecraft community. Just a year after starting the channel, he was invited to join the popular HermitCraft server for its second season.
The “vanilla” (unmodded) server is home to many elite Minecraft YouTubers. Here, they play together in the game and showcase the results in edited Let’s Play style videos. Between Redstone and HermitCraft, Mumbo has managed to build his channel up to 6.2 million subscribers in just eight years.
Making it work
A key factor in Mumbo Jumbo’s growth comes down to his community involvement. On his Redstone videos, he “challenges” viewers to recreate one of his contraptions, or to build one of their own. He will then create videos showcasing the best from the community and talking about them. By staying active in the comment sections, during live streams, and social media, Mumbo has encouraged a tight-knit group.
Beyond the community-focused aspect, it is also important to understand Mumbo Jumbo still crafts diverse content on the channel. As is the case with any channel, stagnate, repetitive content is a sure-fire way to kill growth and lose subscribers. To much of the same thing can lead to boredom, regardless of the personality behind it.
Mumbo finds balance by doing both the Let’s Play videos with HermitCraft and his instructional content. HermitCraft allows him the chance to interact with other players, thus encountering unique situations from episode to episode. The tutorial content lets him show off impressive creations while still being accessible to new players.
With Top Lists (covering everything from humorous moments to tips and tricks), news bits, and even some personal vlogging, Mumbo’s content schedule is as diverse as any other gaming channel. Combined with the multifaceted nature of the game itself, there is plenty of appeal for general gamers while being essential viewing for the specific Minecraft community.
Focus does not equal limitation
Mumbo has proven that building a YouTube channel around a single video game is anything but limiting. Not every game can enjoy such longevity like Minecraft, but Mumbo’s channel serves as an example of how to make it work for others.