Gaming and fandom streaming service Machinima is one of the biggest video producers on the internet. With over 32,000 creators in its network, Machinima is the fifth-largest channel network on YouTube, according to ComScore data for April.
It's no surprise Machinima is on the rise. It hosts popular shows like talk show ETC, cartoon Battlefield Friends, and top gamers such as Minecrafter JeromeASF and Zack Scott.
With famous YouTubers always dropping in and all the latest video-game consoles available to play, Machinima looks like a fun place to work. We recently stopped by the company's Los Angeles headquarters to check it out for ourselves.Machinima's offices are located in an oddly shaped building in West Hollywood. You might miss it if you were driving by. Because of building regulations, Machinima can't have signs announcing its location.
Look for their iconic "M" logo on the door.
Enter the lobby and you'll be greeted by a TV playing some of its latest and greatest YouTube videos. When we got there, Machinima's popular show ETC with cohosts Ricky Hayberg and Eliot Dewberry was playing.
If you have to wait, there are some comfortable couches to lounge on.
This is Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein. He was our tour guide for the day.
All the conference rooms are named after things that reference Machinima's focus on video games, comic books, and fandom culture. This one is named Hyrule, after the land where the popular "Legend of Zelda" video games take place.
The center of the office is a fun meeting area where employees can meet, play pingpong, check out the latest videos from the team, or test out any of the hottest new games. When we were there, Machinima employees were enjoying ice cream catered by Cold Stone Creamery.
Gutstein is frequently meeting with members of Machinima's network of talent. Machinima has 32,000 YouTubers in its network, whom it helps produce videos, sell advertising, and develop audience. Some are big stars like Ricky and Eliot from ETC. Others are just starting out.
Machinima has to keep track of the release dates for the hot new video games, movies, TV shows, and conferences that its audience expects it to cover.
There's an Xbox One ready to go if you want to get in a quick game of "Destiny."
There are numerous studios in the office for filming Machinima's many YouTube shows. Here, we caught a taping of an episode of "ETC" that was going up later that day. The studio also has a green room set up for more elaborate shows.
The Game HQ is the office's other major studio. This is where they film Machinima's popular podcasts. Often they bring in YouTube personalities to play new games like "Dying Light" and "Mortal Kombat X" on Twitch, a popular streaming website.
Many of Machinima's biggest channels are managed in-house. This is the office of Machinima Realm, the company's dedicated "League of Legends" channel. It's filled with pop culture oddities, like this rug of a Wampa from "Star Wars."
The Realm team keeps this spin wheel for one of its popular shows where they play random characters in "League of Legends."
The team keeps Sting, Bilbo, and Frodo's sword from "Lord of the Rings" hanging next to the door.
The office has some very weird architecture. It used to be the office of the Hollywood Stock Exchange during the dot-com boom.
Before that, it was the home of famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber. The second level, seen here, was Weber's apartment, while he used the rest of the space as a studio.
Every team keeps plenty of pop culture and gaming decorations on display. Machinima's animation channel, Happy Hour, has posters of all of its favorite '80s and '90s movies mashed up with geeky icons like Batman and Samus Aran from the "Metroid" series.
Even Homer Simpson is lurking around.
Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet from the Marvel comics and movies was hanging out on a ledge.
Most of the desks were cluttered with figurines from popular video games like these ones from MegaMan and Final Fantasy.
Everyone around the office seems to have a sense of humor.
While the studios, YouTube personalities, and channels are the glamorous part of Machinima, it takes a lot to make the business run.
The main cubicle areas are decorated to show off the company's focus on gaming and fandom culture. Here, someone put up a desert camo netting like one might find in "Call of Duty" and other first-person shooters.
Watch out for this scythe near the printers.
One person had a life-size "Minecraft" figure next to their desk.
The collections can get pretty extensive. This person was a Darth Vader fanatic.
The Avengers keep watch over the accounting department. One person in the department told us that "Hulk likes to party."
Be sure to stop by the kitchen to play a game of Jenga. While some people will actually play, others just set up the blocks in odd configurations. Gutstein says the pieces are always in a different arrangement when he comes by.
The drink fridge is always stocked with Vitamin Waters and sodas, but the team has started an initiative to persuade employees to drink more water. A recent survey revealed that one of the employees' biggest worries was staying healthy.
According to Gutstein, gourmet-food trucks frequently stop by the office for employees to grab lunch. You can sit outside on the company's patio.
On our way out, we were sure to take a look at the massive 17-panel mural covering Machinima's outside walls. The mural by Jerrell Conner shows the many aspects of "the hero's journey" to emphasize Machinima's new "Heroes Rise" branding.
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