How “Baldi’s Basics in Education & Learning” got over 620 million views on YouTube in four months

Posted 2018-08-09

Big shout out to the independent game developer, Micah McGonigal, for the success of his weird, nostalgic, and horrifying game that’s been terrorizing the minds of many YouTubers, and gained more than 620 million views on YouTube since the beginning of April 2018.

Weird?

Because the objective of this game is to hunt for 7 notebooks that are hidden in different classrooms in a school while a creepy bald guy, “Baldi,” chases after you with a ruler and starts smacking it against his hand the moment he has spotted you.

Nostalgic?

Yes, like many YouTubers who reviewed the game have said, “Baldi’s Basics” really reminds you of those popular ‘90s “edutainment” computer games (i.e. Math Blaster & Number Munchers) BUT with a slight twist: it features sound effects and graphics that send chills down your spine.  Eek.

Horrifying?

Because a) math is involved (you need to complete 3 math questions (that get more challenging) each time you’ve found a notebook), and b) it misleads you into believing that you are playing an educational game. When in reality, you are stuck in an endless maze of being spooked by:

  • A creepy girl who non-stop wants you to play jump ropes with her.
  • A teacher who teleports you into the detention room for x amount of seconds whenever he catches you “running” down the hall.
  • A bully who blocks you from running away from Baldi, especially when he is right behind you, in random hallway spaces.
  • Having to complete math questions correctly, or Baldi will get angrier and angrier for each wrong answer.
  • Being stalked by Baldi who, again, is smacking a ruler against his hand louder and louder as he approaches closer and closer to you.

“Baldi’s Basics” was first released on March 27 of this year.  By the end of the first month of its launch, there were already over 400 videos published about the game on YouTube. And, three months later, over 1000 videos published. McGonigal is now looking for support on Kickstarter to build a full version of the game, you can check it out here.

So how did this happen?

  • Great timing – As the summer vacations season is making its wave across the US and Europe, McGonigal had lucky timing with the game picking up in the summer months.   
  • Different – As pointed out in the press, the game has a nostalgic feel to it, and it stands out from many other indie games. The graphics are purposely ugly to mimic the olden edugames, and maybe the sense of nostalgia makes people want to watch it on YouTube.
  • Horror component – Just like the indie horror game Granny, which has taken over mobile games on YouTube, people love spooky stuff on YouTube. It’s just funny.
  • The game received some promotional support and hit the top downloads on indie platform itch.io generating some good interest.

Why do YOU think it became a game with more than 620 million YouTube views since April?

Tweet at us or email hello@matchmade.tv to participate in this discussion.

In the meanwhile, here is a few funny Baldi’s Basics video to watch:

Psst.. there is a brand new demo floating around that gets you to go camping with Baldi. This time, you will have to keep Baldi’s campfire alive for 3 minutes to not piss him off.

 

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