His YouTube videos all begin with the same familiar greeting: “How’s it going, bros? It’s PewDiePie!”
The Swedish-born 26-year-old has racked up over 10 billion views playing video games while providing funny and entertaining commentary or taking his bros along with him on his latest trip or adventure. His devoted fans can’t get enough. But who is PewDiePie?
His real name is Felix Kjellberg. Five years ago, he began posting his videos on YouTube, and now, with his fan base topping over 40 million subscribers, he is YouTube’s biggest star. He sat down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric to discuss his rise to YouTube fame, his new book and his plans for the future.
Kjellberg says he began making his videos “not to teach people how to become better at videos games,” but to “be entertained and feel like you’re sitting next to me on a couch and we’re playing games together.”
His record-breaking numbers on YouTube exceed those of any famous musician or actor. “I never expected it,” he says. “I’ve never been the popular guy or whatever. It’s a situation where there are so many people who love what you do and appreciate what you do, and that’s amazing. And I couldn’t be happier about it.”
Kjellberg affectionately calls his fans “bros” — and that even includes his female fans. “Especially with gaming, I think most people think it’s just guys. But it’s cool to see anyone can enjoy it and that makes me feel like I’ve done my job.”
This October, PewDiePie went from Internet phenomenon to best-selling author with a new book titled, “This Book Loves You.” The collection of inspirational sayings and thoughts debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Young Adult Paperback Best Seller List.
Kjellberg has also been busy shooting a new series for YouTube Red called “Scare PewDiePie,” which features the No. 1 YouTuber being put into live horror game scenarios. “My thing throughout YouTube has always been that I play horror games and react to them. So now we’re taking that to the next level.”
As for the future, PewDiePie says he’s still enjoying his day job and sharing his passion for gaming with his fans. “It seems ridiculous if I’m like 70 and I’m just sitting playing games,” he says. “I feel like already in these five years my content has evolved a lot and I will keep evolving. But how will it evolve? I don’t know yet.”