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Matthew Schroeder Fallout 4

Dealing with Hate: Fallout 4 & The Future – An Interview With Matty Schroeder

Matthew “Matty” Schroeder is a New York based, full-time YouTuber, who has been following the events and speculation leading up to the announcement of Bethesda’s upcoming Fallout 4. Over the years his channel has amassed over 160,000 subscribers and it’s still growing rapidly. But with exposure, comes trolls, big decisions and content ideas. Matty’s story truly represents devotion in the gaming industry, having made videos on Fallout 4 since August 2012. Since then, he has started a hugely-successful podcast and a community forum called SugarBombed. Following the announcement of Fallout 4 in June, Matty’s channel has sky-rocketed, with things set to grow over the next few months, we spoke to Matty to discuss his future, his work and his aspirations.

GamesNosh: What does this game [Fallout 4] mean to you?

Matty: It means the world to me. I talk and think about it everyday. From a realistic standpoint, this game is quite literally my livelihood. If Fallout 4 didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t have a job right now and I certainly wouldn’t have one I love as much as making videos about this game. I have never had the passion for a video game quite like I have for Fallout 4. Especially after seeing the reveal and just how much Bethesda has listened to the community.

GN: How has making content based on this particular game affected your life?

M: It’s a wild ride. There are times that fake Fallout 4 news has surfaced in the past and I would have to leave hanging out with my friends to cover it. Friends in real life just associate me with the franchise. Anytime someone in my area has a question on Fallout, they come to me. This game is such a big part of my life. People sometimes call me obsessed, but it’s out of passion more than anything. Bethesda’s games have given me a great career so far, I just like to give back by doing what I can for the series.

GN: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

M: Tough one. Well, I hope I’m still doing this whole making videos shenanigans. YouTube/Twitch gaming are still growing/prospering and I don’t see them going anywhere in the near future. A year ago, I thought my channel would eventually die. Now, it’s doing better than ever and consistently growing. What I’m saying is like everyone else I can’t predict the future, so I just coast through life.

GN: At one point did it really hit you that you had ‘fans’?

M: It’s never really hit me. I always make sure not to call them “fans.” I feel it is almost condescending as a YouTuber to call them “fans.” I make gaming videos. I’m not some crazy good actor or athlete where you actually earn fanship. I always try to call them “viewers” or “friends.” Usually, friends, but sometimes I’ll slip and say “fans” because that is the norm. They gave me this life and so I try to share as much as I can with them and interact as best as I can with them whether it is through videos or social media. I’ve met a few viewers at gaming conventions prior to my channel’s growth and it is honestly surreal. Like, someone liked my stuff enough to go out of their way and come to a convention across the country just to hang out with me. That is why I call them friends because only a friend would do something like that.

GN: Did you ever expect your channel to grow as much as it has?

M: First, before Fallout 4, I had about 20,000 subscribers who came over from my Skyrim videos and only about 500-800 of them checked out my stuff. I’d upload random videos talking about whatever games were out at the time and it was honestly just really ‘meh.’ The only reason I gained a following is because people shared the same excitement as me for Fallout 4. What if Bethesda Game Studio’s next game is not Fallout? There goes my channel. What if the hype for Fallout 4 died? There goes my channel. See what I’m getting at? There were so many “what if’s” to my channel that I couldn’t know if I’d end up successful or not unless Fallout 4 was announced sometime in 2015. Fortunately it was announced and my channel has reaped some benefits from that which I am ever so grateful for.

GN: Is the game setting out to be what you are hoping for?

M: I’m loving what I’m seeing because it is exactly what we want! There were some hurdles at first such as the voice protagonist and new dialogue system, but after chatting with Brian Delaney, Fallout 4’s male protagonist, and some accepting, I like the changes in Fallout 4. Am I biased to love this game? Oh, definitely. But, for example, the voiced protagonist was an idea I hated. Anytime it came up, I, along with many other Fallout fans, would shut it right down. Now look at it; I love Brian (Delaney) and Courtenay (Taylor) and trust they’ll do a great job bringing our characters to life!

GN: Where do you feel Bethesda will take the next few months before release?

M: It’s a tough call. Fallout 4 is a unique game because it can quite literally market itself with all the palpable hype around it before and after its announcement. It also seems like Bethesda is attempting to break the marketing norms of the gaming industry today by announcing the game and releasing it only five months later. I personally feel October will be the month of Fallout, but that’s only a guess. Bethesda told us to “stay tuned” in regards to a public release of the QuakeCon/GamesCom demo and they still have those S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat videos to release. Time will tell, but I think Bethesda has a lot more hidden up their sleeve. Much like the initial Fallout 4 reveal, they will likely just toss new stuff out there unexpectedly.

GN: How do you handle negative comments and online hate?

M: Dealing with hate has become a lot easier for me now. Part of it is realizing that there is always going to be someone there trying to tear you down. Not everyone is going to like you and that reality is amplified when you enter the internet where thousands of people who don’t personally know you can see you. I could make the world’s greatest video and someone will try to find fault in it just because they want to see me fail so badly. It’s a shame and over time I’ve actually began to feel bad for these kind of people. It makes sit there and wonder, “why is this person spending their day trying to ruin mine?” A fine example is when I’m live-streaming and on the fairly rare occurrence, we get a hater. Naturally, he’ll get banned for offensive comments by a moderator, but then he’ll constantly keep making new accounts on Twitch to attack me.

Then he’ll go to my YouTube channel. Then my social media. Then people who I know in real life’s social media. All to get to me. I could give a d*mn if someone doesn’t like me, but actions like that make me wonder. Eventually, you accept that people will forever be like that and there isn’t any changing it. You almost must establish a human relationship with your viewers. So many viewers feel that once your channel grows that your ego inflates, your subscribers no longer matter, and that I’m on a beach somewhere enjoying the good life and not caring what people have to say about me. Truth is, before and after channel growth, not much changes except a number.

I still go into the comments, receive feedback, remember people, and establish relationships.Those relationships are important. I’ve had many a viewer come at me with venomous comments and when I calmly respond to them and explain the situation, they usually apologize and become all the more loyal to me. It’s also people still adjusting to the age of the internet. People still don’t realize that behind every screen is a human and that that human has feelings. A lot of people will have bad days and try to take it out on me. It is also an issue of believing everything they read. Part of r/Fallout [community board on Reddit] has established preconceived notions about me and anytime I see a hate post on me, it’s almost as if it is a copy and paste of the same comments from there. “Matty takes the same news and talks about it five times over. He stinks with lore.” Blah, blah, blah. As a creator, you learn to look at stuff like that, smirk, realize none of it is true, and focus on the positive vibes because at the end of the day that is truly all that will get you anywhere.

GN: How do your friends/family feel about your recent decision to go into YouTube full-time?

M: They’re proud of me. They know I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this. Okay, maybe not blood. Virtual blood. Anyways, they are just as shocked as I am. This has always been a dream of mine and they always supported me on the way there. Now, we’re finally here and I’m just so absolutely ecstatic about all that is happening. They have sat through it all where it was me smiling with success or venting about how quitting YouTube for good was once an option on the table. They live vicariously through me and see all the happenings on my channel. I’m happy they’re there for me through this because it’s really something special.

You can check out Matty’s channel here as well as on Twitter.

About Connor McKay

Follow my Twitter: @conjmk

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  • Jake Wilson

    Great interview! Funny that the voiced protagonist was mentioned. I’m worried about it but for a different reason. I think the voice actor sounds really generic, for the male character anyways.

    • At least we don’t have a protagonist who sounds like Geralt/Adam Jensen/Batman.

      • Jake Wilson

        Nah, but he does sound more than a bit like Nolan North/Nolan North/Nolan North. You’ve probably heard of him from everything. =D

        • Haha, yeah. I definitely thought he sounded familiar.

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