The name is the new brand identity for YouTube network The Game Station, which is expanding its purview into "every flavor of fandom," including e-sports enthusiasts, superhero fanatics, anime lovers and those who enjoy 8-bit graphics, Maker Studios said.
Polaris features programming from top gaming talent such as "PewDiePie;" top female gamer Dodger, of "PressHeartToContinue;" "The Yogscast," the largest gaming channel in the U.K.; as well as Toby Turner; Jesse Cox; "HuskyStarCraft;" "TotalBiscuit;" "Day;" "GameGrumps;" and "Markiplier." "PewDiePie" alone has over 11.3 million subscribers.
"By re-launching our gaming channel as Polaris, we'll be able to focus not only on videogames, but offer original content that embodies our deep love of pop culture, movies, comics and all-things-geek," according to Dar Nothaft, VP and general manager of Polaris, at Maker Studios. "We are excited to bring all of our talent together in one collaborative hub -- the new center of geek culture."
The move is also seen as a key way to compete more with growing brands like Nerdist Industries and Nerd HQ, and enable Maker Studios to attract more advertisers to its YouTube stars and content. While gaming content is popular online, it's proved too niche for many marketers looking to reach a young audience online.
Polaris will still offer up game reviews and spotlight trailers for new releases, but it also will air weekly series like "The Daily Byte," hosted by Dodger, to cover nerdy headlines; and "Broken Quest," featuring the animated adventures of a group of hapless warriors in a dangerous fantasy setting. It stars Game Station vets "HuskyStarcraft," Dodger and chef Rosanna Pansino.
The rebranded site will participate in YouTube's first "Geek Week," Aug. 4-10, during which it will showcase more than 100 channels and their videos.
The Polaris channel attracts more than 1 billion views a month across more than 500 channels.
Network is overseen by Chris Williams, chief development officer, along with Nothaft; Luis Medina, director of partnerships; Isaac Zucca, director of programming; Nathan Kitada, director of branded integration; Sarah Wick, talent strategy manager; and David Rostal, head of network development.
Culver City, Calif.-based Maker Studios has more than 4 billion views per month and boasts over 260 million subscribers.
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