BIGMODE dunkey video game company logo.


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Updated May 09, 2024 at 01:56PM EDT by Philipp.

Added Sep 22, 2022 at 09:23AM EDT by Philipp.

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BIGMODE is an indie video game publishing company launched by YouTubers videogamedunkey and Leahbee in September 2022. Created with the intention to "publish some of the best games out there," the company inspired memes and viral discussions on social media following its announcement. BIGMODE published its first game in May 2024.


On September 21st, 2022, YouTuber Jason "videogamedunkey" Gastrow (also known as Dunkey) announced the launch of BIGMODE, an indie video game publishing company established by Dunkey, his wife and fellow YouTuber Leahbee. The announcement video,[1] in which Dunkey revealed that with the publishing company he aimed to "build up the games and the developers" to "help good games succeed and help them continue to succeed into the future," received over 1.3 million views on YouTube in one day (shown below).

I understand what kind of ideas always work, what ideas never work, what kind of ideas are fresh, or need to come back, and what is extremely played-out. For developers who want to go above and beyond and really deliver something special, I am the guy you want in your corner.

Dunkey also revealed Twitter,[2] YouTube[3] and Twitch[4] channels for the company, which accumulated over 53,800, 17,500 and 1,900 subscribers in one day, respectively.

On May 9th, 2024, the first game published by BIGMODE, indie metroidvania exploration game Animal Well was releaed[8] to very positive reviews (launch trailer shown below).

Online Reactions

The announcement on September 21st, 2022, was met with memes and viral discussions on Twitter and social media websites shortly after. Some users expressed hopes for the company, while others criticized Dunkey for thinking that his experience as a video game critic would translate into his game publishing business.

For example, on September 21st, Twitter[5] user @davemakes made a tweet in which they wrote that "dunkey is about to learn some stuff the hard way," which received over 2,100 retweets and 26,100 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Later that day, Twitter[6] user @TanukiGirlMichi posted a Dr. Manhattan Kills Rorschach meme that received over 1,100 retweets and 9,800 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).

Mixolumia @davemakes on Switch now! lol dunkey starting a publishing company with the ethos "i have played so many games i know what makes them good and bad so i will only publish good ones" about to learn some stuff the hard way 8:46 PM. Sep 21, 2022. Twitter for Android Michiru @TanukiGirl Michi "yeah I'd like to pitch an rpg-“ dunkey: "11 :

Also that day, Twitter[7] user @TastiestLemon posted a Drake Helps Lil Yachty With the Laptop meme that received over 490 retweets and 3,100 likes in one day (shown below).

Animal Well Release Reactions

On May 9th, 2024, indie exploration video game Animal Well, developed by Billy Basso and published by BIGMODE, was released. The game received very positive critic reviews, with an average score of 91 based on 18 reviews on Metacritic[9] and an average score of 89 based on 26 reviews on OpenCritic[10] on the release day (example post[11] shown below).

Kami @Okami13 Animal Well scores a 91 on MetaCritic with 9 reviews. Available on PS+ Extra day one. First game from videogamedunkey's publishing label Bigmode. Developed by one person. 10 - Noisy Pixel 10 - Nintendo World 10 - Techraptor 5/5 Eurogamer 9 - Gamespot 9 Game Informer 9 PC Gamer 8.5 Nintendo World 8-Push Square 4.5/5 Gamesradar+ 4/5 Digital Trends Skill Up - Strongly Recommend 9:21 AM - May 9, 2024 - 167.5K Views

The release was followed by users talking about BIGMODE's first game and making comments about Dunkey's success in his new endeavor. For example, video game publisher Dave Oshry wrote, "Looks like Dunkey can be a game publisher after all, lads.", with the post gaining over 80 reposts and 2,400 likes on X[12] in one day (shown below, left).

John NewBlood @DaveOshry Looks like Dunkey can be a game publisher after all, lads. ✪ BIGMODE Games @BIGMODEgames. 3h GO ANIMAL WELL GO !! New & Trending Top Sellers Popular Upcoming Specials ANIMAL WELL ANIMAL WELL -10% $24.99 $22.49 ANIMAL WELL Exploration, Metroidvania, Puzzle, Action Overall user reviews: No user reviews V Rising -10% $34.99 $31.49 Exploration Metroidvania Puzzle Action H RISING H HEADING OUT of Achra Groakoloco PUPPET MASTER Survival, Open World, Vampire, Base Building Heading Out $19.99 -10% $17.99 Visual Novel, Stylized, Roguelike, Roguelite Path of Achra $9.99 -20% $7.99 D Roguelike, Character Customization, RPG, Turn-Be Croakoloco -20% $5.99 $4.79 Creature Collector, Idler, Clicker, Casual Puppet Master: The Game THE GAME Free To Play 0 Action, Shooter, FPS, Hero Shooter Chrono Ark Chrono Ark Roguelike Deckbuilder, RPG, Anime, Strategy $24.99 -25% $18.74 INDIKA INDIKA -10% $24.99 $22.49 Puzzle, Surreal, Third Person, Horror HEXGUARDIAN Hexguardian -20% $11.99 $9.59 Tower Defense, Roguelite, Roguelike, Strategy IDLE HE Idle Heros Free To Play Exploration, Idler, Casual, 2D Platformer See more: New Releases 10:23 AM May 9, 2024 68.7K Views Jason Schreier @jasonschreier Damn... it worked Jason Schreie @jasonschrei⚫ Sep 22, 2022 Can't believe dunkey started a video game publisher with no experience instead of taking the normal approach: getting a Harvard MBA, working at McKinsey for five years, and then failing upward between C-suites for the rest of your life . 10:37 AM ⚫ May 9, 2024 298.2K Views

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – My Indie Game Publishing Company

[2] Twitter – @BIGMODEgames

[3] YouTube – BIGMODE Games Official

[4] Twitch – bigmodegames

[5] Twitter – @davemakes

[6] Twitter – @TanukiGirlMichi

[7] Twitter – @TastiestLemon

[8] X – @BIGMODEgames

[9] Metacritic – Animal Well

[10] OpenCritic – Animal Well

[11] X – @Okami13_

[12] X – @DaveOshry

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Top Comments

Mistress Fortune
Mistress Fortune

in reply to Arcadenblog

Has equal change to either be a good way for indies to get a chance to thrive, or a way to harm Dunkey's reputation when it comes to his opinions on game design similar to what happened to Arin Hanson after Game Grumps. Pre-Grumps Arin was seen as something of an authority figure on "good game design" thanks to things like Sequilitis and most people viewing his Awesome parodies as silly jokes.

Come Grumps we find out most of Arin's complaints about game design tend to come more from his either just sucking at certain genres or having a severe lack of patience or attention to read tutorial messages. Plus things like finding out in one video that his Devil May Cry parody from long ago wasn't an affectionate parody at all, it was him genuinely thinking he thinks classic Dante sucks and he prefers the infamous 2013 reboot version (and this was way back in a Jon era video).


Now this will be interesting. Dunkey loves to act as this big authority figure when it comes to opinions on video games and objective quality, so it will be fun to see him put his money where his mouth is. Here's hoping BigMode will end up being the "Seal of Quality" Dunk is hyping it up to be.


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