Prime Video taps MrBeast to bring the ‘biggest reality competition series’ to streaming – but will anyone watch?

A photo of MrBeast
(Image credit: Amazon)

MrBeast, the YouTube phenomenon born Jimmy Donaldson, has just struck his biggest deal yet. The filmmaker has teamed up with Amazon MGM Studios and Prime Video for Beast Games, a new game show where 1,000 contestants will be fighting to win a $5 million reward. According to the press blurb, it's the biggest single prize in the history of TV and streaming. 

This isn't the first time MrBeast has come for Squid Game. In 2021, he spent $3.5 million dollars making a Squid Game video (see below), which is believed to have made him $1.4 million in profit. But that pales in comparison with this, which Donaldson says will have "many other world records" other than the competitors and prize money. 

As of yet, we don't know what the games will involve, but according to the streamer "it's gonna be an insane show". Teaming up with such a larger than life influencer in the YouTube space could be what Amazon needs to make reality game shows popular with its audience. After all, it's a genre that Prime Video has previously struggled in – just see its reality game show duel with Netflix from last year.   

Why MrBeast is squidding onto Prime Video

It's no secret that MrBeast is trying to escape the inevitable fate of YouTube streamers: live by the algorithm, die by the algorithm. And partnering with large media brands such as Amazon MGM Studios appears to be part of that diversification. For MrBeast, it's another revenue stream. For the studio, it's a direct line to one of the biggest fanbases on Earth.

TIME magazine recently published a fascinating analysis of his multi-million dollar empire, his perfectionism and his desire to stay ahead of the algorithms. TIME described his plans as a "very long strategy game" where the YouTuber will "create a self-perpetuating media company that makes enough awe-inspiring videos to sell enough of the snacks and apps he also makes to pay for more awe-inspiring videos", and his history suggests it's a bad idea to bet against him achieving it. 

For now, we don't know what Beast Games will be like, but you can be sure that Netflix will be paying close attention. Its own attempt to spinoff Squid Games into a reality show, Squid Game: The Challenge, got mixed reviews despite a big budget and a whopping $4.6 million prize. The second season of the fictional Squid Game will be streaming later this year, by which time we should know more about MrBeast's attempts to better it.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.