Matthew Patrick, who for the last 13 years has been better known as wisecracking online personality MatPat, on Tuesday night announced he would cease to host his ever-popular “Game Theory” videos.
“It’s not clickbait. On March 9, I will be hosting my last ‘Theory’ episode, at which point I will be handing off the channels to someone else,” Patrick said in a 25-minute video titled Goodbye Internet.
The 37-year-old social media star struggled to keep his emotions at bay throughout the announcement, at times shedding tears while he addressed his loyal fan base.
“This has been a literal third of my life and I’m going to miss you,” Patrick cried to his audience.
The video has garnered nearly 9.5 million views in its first 18 hours online.
Patrick called The Game Theorists YouTube channel the “first child” of he and his now-wife Stephanie. The pair co-created the project in 2011 in the hopes of reaching fellow video game lovers interested in lore and fanciful theories about their favourite games.
Since then, the couple have cultivated a following of 18.5 million subscribers on the channel — and have seen Patrick launched to international fame as a much-beloved, nerdy online creator.
But by Patrick’s self-admission, his “work-first” mentality has taken a toll on him and his personal life. He and Stephanie had a son in 2018, and the “late nights” working on videos are no longer ideal for Patrick and his family.
Patrick said he also misses the days when he was able to simply indulge in his passion for playing video games without thoughts of content creation.
“I miss the days where I could just sit down on the couch with (Stephanie) and play video games, and it’s not for content,” Patrick said. “Or I’m playing a game, and I’m not thinking about what theories are going to come out of that.
“We knew that we couldn’t do this forever,” Patrick said of him and his wife. “We knew that, honestly, we didn’t want to do this forever.”
Luckily for his followers, Patrick won’t disappear entirely. Instead, the YouTuber will stay involved behind the scenes and may appear in future livestreams and Style Theory videos.
Patrick announced that a group of creators who already work on The Game Theorists and other affiliated channels will take over his video hosting duties. He said the gaming channel has uploaded more than 1,200 impressively in-depth theories about popular video games, with many of the channel’s most popular videos surrounding the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise.
Patrick even scored a cameo in the new Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, where he got to use his famous “that’s just a theory” line.
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In his Goodbye Internet video, Patrick said he always wanted his YouTube career to go out “on a high note.” With Game Theorists’ views at an all-time high, and Patrick’s other projects succeeding, he said now felt like the right time.
Still, much of Patrick’s dedicated fanbase is now mourning the loss of the self-described grandfather of YouTube.
Video game designer Robert F. (Toby) Fox thanked Patrick “for the theories” with a crude drawing of characters from the popular role-playing game Undertale.
YouTuber Jacksepticeye wrote that it was “hard to believe” Patrick won’t be hosting The Game Theorists videos anymore.
“MatPat has done so much for youtube (sic) and YouTubers (sic) over the years!” he said.
Other fans — many of whom have been viewers since childhood — expressed their upset at seeing Patrick step away.
Patrick isn’t the only YouTuber to ever hang up their content creation cap — be it fully or partially. Some of the platform’s biggest creators have historically announced their retirements amid mounting job pressures, burnout, a desire to maintain privacy or other reasons.
Just last week, YouTuber Tom Scott, known for posting weekly short-form videos as part of his “Things You Might Not Know” series, said he would stop making videos. He cited changes to the YouTube platform and their creator partnerships as one reason for quitting.
Even some of the platform’s biggest creators, like the popular gaming YouTuber PewDiePie, have pulled back on posting. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, stepped back in 2022 from uploading regular gaming videos due to burnout and a desire to spend time with his family.
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