Interview: Mr Happy

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This month I had the delight to interview one of the greatest MMO streamers and one of my personal favourite Youtubers Michael Poveromo aka Mr Happy. We chatted about streaming, creating and of course Final Fantasy. Sit back and enjoy getting to know the wonderful Mr Happy.

For those who may not know much about you, tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

My name is Michael Poveromo, more commonly known as Mrhappy Gaming. I am a YouTube Content Creator and Twitch Broadcaster. I play mostly Final Fantasy XIV, though I’ve recently been playing several MMOs on top of that.

Streaming has become massive within the years, what do you think it is about streaming games that has made it become so popular?

I think it’s the communities it creates. I remember taking any opportunity to surround myself with fellow gamers back in high school and college, and I think that continues now to this day on the internet. If broadcasters were unable to create communities it would probably not have had the same impact.

How did you get into streaming?

I got into streaming about 3-4 years ago watching broadcasters on own3d.tv. Eventually I started streaming small games on Twitch.tv to 2-5 people at any given time. In 2013 I met my girlfriend on Ragnarok Online 2 and we worked together with AtheneLive to raise money for the Save the Children foundation. From that point on, we made content on YouTube before coming back to Twitch. It took us about 8-9 months but we eventually got partnered on Twitch as well. Since then, we’ve just been growing our community.

Do you have any advice for people looking to get into streaming?

My advice is don’t bank on becoming a big broadcasters right away. Do it for fun. If you have a creative itch and want to do something super exciting and hype, do it. Just don’t go into broadcasting, with no following, and say “In 6 months I’m gonna be one of the biggest streamers”. Figure out your brand, figure out what your strong points are and most importantly have fun.

You work on both YouTube and Twitch content is it difficult working between both platforms and what do you feel are the differences in both?

It is quite difficult. I mostly try to create content that is different on both platforms and at times having the time to do this is extremely difficult. I spend almost my entire day trying to figure out what I’m going to do. I find that after broadcasting its also hard to go back to YouTube because of how much more exciting it is to interact with people live. Luckily, whenever I have a creative idea I quickly hop on YouTube and get it done. Just expect to spend at least 80 hours a week on your brand and your business, especially if you intend to do both YouTube and Twitch.

You have been known to be one of the main streamers who interacts well with the viewers, how important is it to interact and build a good community around your channel and work?

I’d say my level of interaction is tough to maintain, especially as you grow. I think having some level of interaction between you and your viewers is crucial though. Whether that’s a discord server, answering questions in the chat or just embarrassing the hell out of yourself for them. They appreciate it all. That helps build communities and friendships.

You play a lot of MMOS, what is about the genre that you like?

My favorite thing about MMOs is the idea that the game doesn’t end. This world I’ve become so invested in will get larger, it will have more story, more content and I’ll be around for all of that. On top of that, I met amazing people through MMOs my whole life, even when my personal life in school wasn’t going so well. MMOs were a place for me to feel like I was among friends, even if we barely knew each other.

What do you personally feel makes a great MMO?

I think making a great MMO nowadays is damn near impossible, at least to make it amazing and successful all around. It needs a world you can invest in, a great story, good combat, plenty of content, PVP and it needs to be updated frequently. It’s one of the most demanding genres of game and I think that we will see it continue to decline over the years unfortunately.

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Looking at your channels it doesn’t take long to notice you are a big Final Fantasy fan, what is your favourite game in the series?

Final Fantasy 6 is handsdown my favorite Final Fantasy of the series. The original sprites have aged very well over time, it has interesting stories, memorable moments, one of the greatest video game villains of all time and it’s that classic active-turn based combat we all love and enjoy.

If you could have a day up at Square Enix headquarters what advice would you give them for future games?

Oh man….where do I begin on this? I’m glad Square Enix still markets to both the old school and is attempting to do it with the new school as well. It’s a tough crowd for them though because the old school hates change out of Square Enix. I actually would tell them to keep trying to innovate and grow with the market. For the dev team on XIV, I’d tell them to bring me in and I’ll make encounters they couldn’t even dream of haha.

You play a lot of Final Fantasy XIV, some would say that it the game that you are primarily known for, what is it about FFXIV that makes it stand out from other MMOs?

I’m definitely a “Final Fantasy Fanboy”, in that their worlds and universes are so much more interesting to me than other fantasy settings. The same rings true for Final Fantasy XIV. I played it when 1.0 came out, quit shortly after. Tried going back to enjoy it several times to no avail. When I heard they were remaking it, I got super excited. It didn’t take long for it become a world I am always drawn back to.

Final Fantasy XIV when it first came out was not in the shape that people expected. It’s hard for people to return to a game that took such hard hits when it came out, why do you feel people should return and give it another chance since the revamp?

It’s literally a different game now. Any sort of disappointment you felt from 1.0, know that about 95% of the world felt it too. Still 5% out there that loved 1.23 at the very least, but just know that 2.0 and now 3.0 are completely different from that initial experience of 1.0.

The latest expansion Heavensward has gotten great reviews, have you noticed more players since the release?

Yeah I noticed a ton more interest, especially from WoW players. Of course between patches the number of people playing drops, then hypes back up for a new patch, then drops again. It’s a vicious cycle of MMOs and XIV is no different. I’d say the population is sitting at a comfortable number, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to overtake WoW at any point. Not that I think ANY game could do that.

If you could add or change anything in the game what would it be and why?

It’s not so much something in the game as much as it is the resources the dev team is provided. I really think they need more people to help bring in fresh ideas and innovate. It’s one of the smallest MMO teams I’ve seen for a game that is being so successful. Sometimes more people isn’t a good thing but they at least need a few more resources to continue to grow and develop the game.

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How did you get into gaming, what was the first game that you well and truly loved?

Since I was young my family gave me every hand-me-down Nintendo console they had and I just got hooked. My father owned a few restaurants and my mother works a 9-5 plus housework and two kids, so I tried to let them do the things they needed to do to provide a life for us while I entertained myself with video games. It is just a passion I never let go of to this day. The first game I ever LOVED though? Hmmm….Kirby’s Dreamland and Super Mario Brothers 3 I had genuine loves for.

You are a big RPG player, what your top five RPGs?

So funny thing about this…I’ve played a lot of RPGs, but I’ve also NOT played a lot of RPGs. When I got into Final Fantasy XI, I kind of missed tons and tons of RPGs that hit the Ps1/Ps2/Xbox etc, so most of my memories come from playing games in the Final Fantasy series, or Kingdom Hearts if you want action based RPGs. Top RPG is definitely Final Fantasy 6, followed by Final Fantasy X. Super Mario RPG is definitely #3. Kingdom Hearts 2 follows after at #4 and #5 is tough. I always loved isometric view ARPGs, one of my favorite over the top view RPGs of all time is Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. If that counts as an RPG I’m going with Gauntlet: Dark Legacy as #5.

If you could live a day in the life of any video game character who would it be and why?

I wish we could ask this question to a video game character and ask them if they could be a normal person not living in a video game world if they would do it. Hell they all live in super dangerous places. I don’t want to go there! If I HAD to pick one I’d probably go with Vincent from FF7. His story is a bit messed up but at least he is a bad ass.

Why do you feel gaming is so important?

It’s a hobby for some and a business for others just like so many other things have been over the years. Now it’s transitioning into a more and more acceptable social standard and people are less likely to be outcasts because of games. Whether it’s being used for education, as an escape from other problems in life or it’s just something you’re passionate about. There has never been a better time to be a gamer and I hope to see its influence continue to grow over the years.

 

I would like to say a massive thank you to  Mr Happy for taking the time to sit down to an interview with us.

If you would like to know more or catch up on some of Mr Happy’s work head on over to:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Xehanort1227

http://www.twitch.tv/mrhappy1227

https://www.facebook.com/Mrhappy1227

https://twitter.com/Mrhappy1227

(Image source: All images taken from official mrhappy socials)

 

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