YouTube’s biggest star MrBeast is offering $5m to contestants in the ‘largest game show in history’ on Amazon Prime: ‘They’ll let me do whatever I want’

The most popular YouTuber in the world is bringing his brand of viral content to Amazon Prime to create the world’s largest game show ever made.

Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, boasts 245 million subscribers and many more casual viewers that tune in to watch challenges like “I paid a real assassin to try to kill me” or “Stop this train, win a Lamborghini” that typically cost a seven-digit figure to make.

In a podcast on Monday, Donaldson said there were only two stipulations both parties agreed to for the new show—it needed to have the most contestants ever as well as boast the biggest cash prize in history. And no expense would be spared. 

“Every episode is going to be like our biggest YouTube video ever,” he told popular creator news channel Colin and Samir. “Money is not a constraint.”

That’s saying something because his 20-minute videos currently cost upwards of $3.5 million each just to make, according to Donaldson, with some running as high as $5 million when everything is included.

The YouTube personality wouldn’t reveal much about the show’s concept lest some clever contestants gain an edge, but he was already finished scripting, and filming is due to start in a couple of months. 

Stakes high to prove a YouTuber can cross into mainstream

All told, Donaldson expects at least 10 episodes and more than six hours of content that would likely air either in November or December. Beforehand, Donaldson expects to post a prelude to the first episode on his channel so people can see for themselves whether it’s worth their time. 

“With that much effort I am putting into this I need everyone to watch it—I am going all out,” he explained.

The stakes are high for the 25-year-old to prove he can flourish beyond the confines of social media and attract viewers from all backgrounds and walks of life. 

He said he was all too aware of the challenges and prejudices he and other content creators faced every time they sought to expand into the mainstream, particularly when it came to interference by media executives who insisted on always having the final say.

“It could either have a massive positive effect and every streaming platform is going to be throwing deals left and right at creators, or a negative effect and people are going to go ‘if Jimmy couldn’t make a hit show, what makes you think you can?’,” he said. “And that is one of my biggest fears.”

That’s why, despite already having proved his ideas work on YouTube, Donaldson said one condition was particularly important for him from the outset. 

‘They let me do whatever I want’

“Let’s just say Amazon will give us the most creative control,” he said, “and by ‘most’ I mean ‘all.’” His viewers after all are accustomed to nothing less. 

Amazon Prime Video has been on a mission to grab viewers from dominant rival Netflix. Yet while shows like The Boys and Reacher have enjoyed success, its lavishly expensive tentpole J.R.R. Tolkien epic The Rings of Power flopped.

But that won’t stop the deep-pocketed tech giant from paying top dollar for new content, reportedly agreeing to distribute Donaldson’s game show for the price of $100 million. And unlike the demands of its rivals, no strings were attached. 

“They’ll let me do whatever I want, and other platforms didn’t,” he said. 

Donaldson assuaged fans that the six-hour show wouldn’t distract from his day job as a YouTuber, however. He plans to upload more videos to his main channel this year than last.

“I don’t want it to mess with the YouTube channel in any way,” he said. “That has always been my number one priority and always will be, because at the end of the day we get 200 million views a video and that’s why I’m able to do all this other stuff.”

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