Insert Coin is a new kind of web series, created for gamers by gamers. Insert Coin is an entertaining, fresh comedy which covers all the latest and greatest games out in the world today.

Created by The Axis of Awesome’s Jordan Raskopoulos and Lee Naimo , the Australian duo are both experts gamers, content creators, and of course… hilarious! Their sketch comedy content features everything from old school Super Mario to the latest gaming innovations hitting our screens.

With over 50 episodes featured on their YouTube channel and webpage, the web series has been gaining a fan base since late 2015. We spoke to Creative Director Jordan Raskopoulos to get the low down on some of the best gamer comedy.

Your series takes a comedic look at gaming. Did you think this was an area in the web series market that hasn’t really been tapped into?
We’d noticed that there were a number of production companies overseas that were producing professional content for these audiences like Geek and Sundry, Rooster Teeth and Penny Arcade but in Australia most of the content being produced was at an amateur level; It was good and funny but lacked strong production and talent. We wanted to create something of the calibre that was being done overseas; marrying the creativity of the Australian gamer and YouTube community with professional performers and crew.

Are you avid gamers yourself and how do you research for your series?
Huge gamers. I am a proud Nintendork and even sport a Legend of Zelda tattoo on my arm. I’m also a fan of tabletop war games and board games. Nevertheless we did need to spread our attention to include fans of games that we didn’t necessarily play ourselves. I don’t play The Sims but our content about that series is some of the most popular stuff on our channel.

What is unique about your series?
We are professional comedians and content creators who love video games. We produce high quality sketch comedy for gamers to watch. People who aren’t gamers will often be completely baffled by the stuff we make… and that’s ok.

What was your release strategy?
We understood that traditional media was unlikely to cover such a niche series. even if they did then the gamer community was unlikely to be reached through those avenues. So we focused on engaging the community directly. We launched insert Coin by exhibiting at gamer conventions like PAX and GX and seeded our content through digital communities on Facebook and Reddit, we also targeted pop culture media outlets like Kotaku and Gizmodo.

Additionally, we cast a number of established comedians and YouTube stars in our content to engage with existing communities. We also knew that good, regular and shareable content needed to be the backbone of our strategy. So we focused on making sure that our content went out on a weekly schedule across multiple platform with ad buys and promoted posts targeted to specific communities. This targeting was unique to each piece of content to make sure that we hit the fans of the specific games we were lampooning.

What was your target audience and how did you build a relationship with them?
Our audience is the pop culture and gamer community. That community skews male but our production had a focus on diversity. We wanted to include all gamers, not just the bros. Our biggest advantage in engaging with this community was the fact that we were genuine. We are part of this community. We are gamers. We understood the sense of humour that gamers share because we shared it and we wanted to celebrate it.

How long did it take to produce and shoot the series?
The series is ongoing and we produce around 13 pieces of content per quarter. So we constantly  shift from development, production and post production. This schedule means that we can stay topical with new game releases but not have to be producing hand to mouth every week.

Do  you have a background as a web series creator?
Lee and I are two thirds of the musical comedy group The Axis of Awesome. We have been responsible for creating and producing  digital content for that channel for a number of years. Insert Coin was an opportunity for us to take the skills we’d developed as producers and create something that aligned with our other passion, games.

What did you learn from making this series? What would you do differently?
The landscape for digital content around games has shifted a lot in the last year. If we were to approach this series again I think we’d probably devote some focus in having a portion of our content appeal to the live streaming and e-sports communities.

What did you want to achieve in creating this series?
The thing I wanted most was a platform to tell my niche, nerdy jokes. Jokes that would only hit 10% of a mainstream comedy audience. I wanted to entertain people like me.