A peek at KreekCraft
Dec 22, 2020 – minute read
Dec 22, 2020 – minute read
Gaming creator Forrest Waldron, better known to his fans as “KreekCraft,” is having quite a year. Take his third quarter, which saw his views and subscribers increase dramatically. Earlier this month, he narrowly missed defending his 2019 Roblox Battles crown, placing a close second. (Roblox is the hugely popular global platform with immersive, user-generated 3D worlds where people create and share experiences together and second most-watched game on YouTube in 2020.) We sat down with KreekCraft to talk about his life as a YouTube gaming creator, the current state and future prospects for online gaming, and his healthy relationship with Pop-Tarts (oh, and that hat...).
KreekCraft: After taking every computer class in school, I got into video editing on YouTube and did that for a few years before I started my gaming channel in 2014. I had grown up watching a lot of big Minecraft YouTubers and was really into Minecraft at the time. I pretty much played video games all day long, so gaming and doing gaming videos was a natural thing.
My name is actually from a game called “World of Warcraft.” You have to create a name for your character, and I’m really bad at coming up with names. So I just hit the random name button a few times, and it came up with “Kreek.” When Minecraft came out, I started playing that, but someone had already taken the name “Kreek” on Minecraft! I got so upset, and so I added “Craft” at the end because the 14- year-old me at the time was like, “Oh, that's genius.”
KreekCraft: I started wearing the hat because I always stay up late, and I would stream early in the morning. To help me wake up. I would just throw cold water on my face and wet my hair, but with it being winter, I didn't have time for my hair to dry. So I just put on the hat to keep warm, and over time, everyone drew me with the hat and that became my thing. The hat itself actually comes from a Kohl’s in Jacksonville, Florida — I have three of them now. My mom thought it was a Mickey Mouse hat, but the design is actually by the artist Deadmau5.
I try to be very open and honest about a lot of stuff and stay emotionally connected to my audience. One of the member perks I do with memberships is host meet-and-greets every month.”
KreekCraft: Around 2017 or 2018, the gaming landscape on YouTube began to change. Minecraft was moving to the back burner, whereas before it was the game on YouTube. A lot of my audience started saying “We’ve done Minecraft for a long time — play Roblox.” And I’m like, “Oh my God. Guys, I'm never playing Roblox — it's not gonna happen.” And then one day I played it, but still wasn’t into it, and they're like, “No, there's some games on there you would like,” such as this game Phantom Forces. It was a shooter game similar to “Call of Duty.” It was actually pretty fun, and I’m thinking this is cool — I'll stream it every now and then. From there, Roblox kind of started taking off.
KreekCraft: I try to be very open and honest about a lot of stuff and stay emotionally connected to my audience. One of the member perks I do with memberships is host meet-and-greets every month. At the height of the pandemic, I did seven in a month, which are capped at 30 people. And I’ve done the same with hosting movie nights, where we watch a movie together — at the height, I was doing two movie nights a month. Everyone was at home, so you might as well find a new way to entertain people. We’d get 90 to 100 attendees for those at any given time.
KreekCraft: Just start. Most YouTubers are used to only uploading videos and that's it. As a livestreamer, Memberships comes a little bit more naturally to me, but I would recommend starting small. Don’t do a $20-a-month tier where you're doing 50 different things. Do something small, like maybe a few dollars a month and members get a behind-the-scenes video, or here's a wallpaper, or some behind-the-scenes content — just something simple that seamlessly fits into what you're already doing.
Gaming is just going to keep growing at probably even a faster rate than it was before because of the pandemic.”
KreekCraft: With everyone home, a lot of people have started playing games while others have become true gamers. I'm sure there’ll be some dropoff once everything starts getting back to normal. But once you’ve opened a Pandora's box like that, you're not going to play games for six months and then after six months be, “Well, that's it, I don't like video games anymore.” Gaming is just going to keep growing at probably even a faster rate than it was before because of the pandemic.
KreekCraft: My entire family has always joked that one day, I'm going to be sponsored by Pop-Tarts, because growing up, I just loved Pop-Tarts. Every morning for breakfast — I'm talking since I was like three-years old — I would eat a Pop-Tart. I still eat them almost every day for breakfast. And now that I have my own house, I literally have an entire drawer that's the “Pop-Tart drawer.” So if Kellogg’s ever offers, I’m going to say “Yes.”