Seán William McLoughlin (born 7 February 1990), better known as Jacksepticeye, is an Irish YouTuber, best known for his vlogs and comedic Let's Play series. As of November 2021[update], his channel has over 14.6 billion views and 27.6 million subscribers, and is the most-subscribed Irish channel. He is the co-founder of the clothing brand Cloak, along with fellow YouTuber Markiplier, and the founder and owner of the Top of The Mornin' Coffee company. He has participated in fundraisers that have raised millions for charity.
|Born||Seán William McLoughlin|
7 February 1990
County Offaly, Ireland
|Education||Athlone Institute of Technology (B.A.)|
|Total views||14.6 billion|
Updated: 23 November 2021
Early life and education
Seán William McLoughlin was born on 7 February 1990 in County Offaly, Ireland, the youngest of five children to John (c. 1936 – 27 January 2021) and Florrie McLoughlin. During his childhood, he was given the nickname "Jack Septic Eye" after an accident during a football match in which he injured his eye. He studied music technology and production at Limerick Institute of Technology before dropping out and returning home. During this time, he was the drummer for a melodic death metal-influenced metalcore band called Raised to the Ground, with whom he released one EP titled Risen from the Ashes in 2009. He then moved to an apartment in Athlone, County Westmeath, where he studied hotel management at Athlone Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. He lived in Athlone until 2017, when he moved to Brighton, England.
McLoughlin started uploading videos under the name "jacksepticeye" to YouTube in December 2012, initially doing voice impressions before switching to making gameplay content. In 2013, he was mentioned in a PewDiePie video, causing him to go from 2,500 subscribers to 15,000 in four days. Due to the success of his channel, McLoughlin was able to make it his full-time job by May 2014. That July, his channel gained over 57 million views, having 800,000 subscribers at the time. By February 2015, the channel had reached one billion views and 3.2 million subscribers. In January 2016, he was one of the initial YouTubers signed under PewDiePie's multi-channel network, Revelmode. That year, he co-hosted South by Southwest's annual SXSW Gaming Awards.
McLoughlin co-starred as the antagonist in the second season of the YouTube Red show Scare PewDiePie. Initially planned to premiere on 9 March 2017, the season was cancelled prior to release due to controversy surrounding PewDiePie and the use of anti-Semitic imagery on his channel. On 18 February 2017, McLoughlin released a video called "Let's Talk!" to his YouTube channel, which discussed PewDiePie being cut from Maker Studios as a result of the controversy. In it, he clarified that although he had tweeted in support of PewDiePie, he did not condone his actions and believed that he should have been more apologetic in response to the controversy. Overall, McLoughlin states, "You can still be friends with someone but not agree with something they do. I don't think the world is that black-and-white." However, the next day he tweeted that he regretted focusing on criticising PewDiePie in the video, saying that he had been "naive". In a Tumblr post, he said his main regret was not commenting on the mainstream media's reporting of the controversy stating, "there were some unethical practices at play with the media, a lot of misquoting and misrepresentation." Following the controversy, it was confirmed that the Revelmode network had been shut down by Disney. McLoughlin then signed to the Disney Digital Network.
In June 2017, Polaris, a division of The Walt Disney Company, announced that McLoughlin would be featured in the series Polaris: Player Select on the television channel Disney XD as part of a new programming block for the channel called D | XP. Later that year, McLoughlin was featured on the RTÉ 2 two-part documentary Ireland's Rich List as one of the "top 30 earners under the age of 30", leading to him receiving a wide coverage in the Irish media and a greater exposure to people in the country who had not seen his YouTube content. McLoughlin toured throughout September–October 2017, in the US with the How Did We Get Here tour, and then returned to the UK and Europe to tour with the Game Grumps for the Ready Player 3 tour. In January 2018, it was announced McLoughlin would produce exclusive content for Twitch as part of a multi-year deal with Disney’s Digital Network. In February 2018, McLoughlin released dates for a US and Canada run of the How Did We Get Here tour. Throughout 2018 and 2019 McLoughlin would also feature in the line-ups of multiple festivals including the 2018 HowTheLightGetsIn Festival in Hay-on-Wye, the 2018 Just for Laughs comedy festival, and the 2019 Metarama Gaming + Music Festival alongside acts such as Marshmello, Logic, Ninja, and Overwatch League players. He was estimated by Forbes to be the eighth highest-paid YouTuber of 2018, with an estimated earnings of $16 million.
In January 2019, McLoughlin signed with the talent agency WME and later that year signed with the multi-channel network Studio71. McLoughlin participated in Summer Game Fest, an event that ran from May to August 2020 following the cancellation of E3 2020. In October 2020, McLoughlin announced that he would be featured in the movie Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds, which was released in August 2021. Previously, Reynolds had appeared in a video of McLoughlin's in which they played the video game Deadpool together. McLoughlin later revealed that he had also provided advice to the director Shawn Levy on how to make the film authentic to video game culture. McLoughlin was featured on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. In July 2021, McLoughlin released a short film entitled "15 MONTHS" to his YouTube channel which Polygon described as "a moody and atmospheric exploration of his time during the pandemic". Later that year he signed with the talent agency CAA.
McLoughlin's YouTube content consists mainly of Let's Plays, as well as comedy gaming videos and vlogs. According to TheJournal.ie, the games that McLoughlin plays on his channel are "a mixture of both conventional and weird titles". His content also commonly features collaborations with other popular YouTubers, particularly PewDiePie who is often mentioned in his videos as part of jokes or "mock drama", and Markiplier. As well as YouTubers, McLoughlin's channel has also featured traditional celebrities, including interviews with Tom Holland, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Brad Pitt, Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie. Other content that regularly appears on his channel includes comedy sketches, short films, charity livestreams and Q&A sessions. Each of his videos begins with an intro in which he gives a high five to the camera and says "Top of the morning to ya, laddies". He chose to use a stereotypical catchphrase for his intro to express his Irish identity to viewers of his videos, wearing a flat cap for the same reason. He has speculated that his Irish identity and accent has contributed to his success, saying "people are very drawn to that". His videos also all end with a catchphrase encouraging his audience to "punch the 'like' button in the face, like a boss!"
McLoughlin's videos are highly edited. They feature commentary in response to the games he plays which is improvised rather than being pre-planned, incorporating humour, funny voices, laughter and swearing. His commentary has been described as "genuine" and "authentic" by TheJournal.ie, and as "half stream of consciousness and half cheerful banter" by the Gazette Review. He calls himself the "most energetic video-game commentator on YouTube", and has described his content as an "assault on the senses" that people "either love or hate". In an interview with the Irish Independent, he described the format of his videos as him playing and talking over video games with a lot of swearing. He has cited his use of swearing as a key aspect to his success saying, "There's lots of swearing. The more you swear the better. People react very positively to that apparently." He has also said that his success is due to "an overall package of a lot of things; energy, positivity, honesty, and consistency." McLoughlin has claimed that an inclusive community is an important part of the Jacksepticeye channel, stating, "One of the main things I wanted to do on YouTube is to keep people together." According to the Gazette Review, "his positive outlook [has] created a strong community following that avoided much of the infighting and drama that other big YouTubers got involved in."
Elements of Gothic storytelling have been identified in McLoughlin's Let's Plays of horror games and in the character of Antisepticeye which is played by McLoughlin as an evil presence on the channel. The character originated from the fandom of Markiplier in response to a similar character on his channel called Darkiplier. The presentation of the Antisepticeye character also utilises fan participation via direct addresses to the audience and interaction between the character and audience members on social media websites such as Twitter.
Frequency of uploads
For the first five years of his career, McLoughlin uploaded two videos per day, later reducing the amount to one per day. In July 2018, McLoughlin announced in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel that he would be taking his first short break from uploading to his channel, which he had uploaded daily videos to for the previous five years, citing struggles with his mental health and burnout. The video was among a wave of videos released at the time by various online content creators that focused on creator burnout and was praised by fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson who said that he had felt similar feelings. In the following years he would take more breaks from uploading to his channel. In July 2020, he took a break from uploading until August, saying that he was exhausted from his uploading schedule and that he would no longer upload daily videos when he returned to making content. His first video upon his return to YouTube was viewed over 2 million times in its first day and became the top trending clip on YouTube. In January 2021, McLoughlin took a break from recording and streaming due to personal grief following the death of his father. Following his announcement of this on Twitter, he received a large amount of support from several content creators, including Matthew Mercer, Corpse Husband, and comedian Cian Twomey. In July 2021, McLoughlin took another break from releasing videos to his channel which lasted over a month, saying in an interview with Polygon "I feel like I’ve done it so often for so long that I just burnt myself out on it. I feel like if I’m not putting the energy that I’m known for; the energy that I like to put into my content, then I’d rather just take a step back from it and do something else."
In October 2018, McLoughlin posted a video announcing Cloak, a clothing brand aimed at gamers which he created with Markiplier. Items were available for preorder at the time of upload, and the brand officially launched the following month. In June 2020, Cloak welcomed the Twitch streamer Pokimane as a third partner and creative director for the brand. The brand has created special edition collections in collaboration with various franchises and internet personalities including Pokimane, Minecraft Dungeons, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Rhett & Link. The brand usually donates a percentage of its sales revenue to charities, and has raised money for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and The Trevor Project in this way. Reviewing a hoodie from the brand, Gavin Sheehan of internet news website Bleeding Cool felt that it was well-made and recommended the product for those willing to pay $70 for a hoodie made by McLoughlin and Markiplier, concluding "It's a fine hoodie and I believe it's a solid product, so at least you get something of great quality when you buy it. It just depends if you like them enough to buy it."
In a tweet posted on May 2020, Mcloughlin teased that he would be launching a coffee company. On June 15, 2020, he officially announced that he was indeed launching his own coffee company, named Top of The Mornin' Coffee, and that it would start its pre-orders on the same day. He also announced that the website had partnered with the Feya Foundation, a charity aimed at combating world hunger.
Business Insider has called McLoughlin "one of YouTube's most prolific philanthropists". In 2019, he was presented with a Humanitarian Stream Team award by Save the Children for his fundraising work with them. In 2021, he was named one of Junior Chamber International Ireland's "Ten Outstanding Young Persons" for raising over $6 million for charity between 2017 and 2021.
In December 2016, McLoughlin was a part of the Revelmode charity holiday livestream #Cringemas, with PewDiePie, Markiplier, Emma Blackery and PJ Liguori. The group raised over $1.3 million under the hashtag #EndAIDS, with matching donations from the Gates Foundation and YouTube. In December 2017, McLoughlin hosted two charity streams with Blackery and Liguori to raise money for Save The Children, raising over $260,000 for the charity.
Throughout 2018, McLoughlin hosted various fundraiser livestreams for charities such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, GameChanger and AbleGamers, charities which support ill and disabled gamers, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Crisis Text Line, raising a total of over $1 million for charities that year. In January 2019, McLoughlin hosted a livestream which raised over $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In March 2019, McLoughlin headlined a Charity: Water livestream, raising over $100,000. In May 2019, McLoughlin hosted a fundraising stream for Red Nose Day 2019 raising over $110,000 in nine hours. In September 2019, McLoughlin hosted a charity livestream alongside actor Emilia Clarke, raising $260,000 for her charity SameYou which is devoted to brain injury recovery.
In January 2020, McLoughlin hosted a livestream which raised over $200,000 in four hours for the bushfires in Australia. In April 2020, McLoughlin hosted a livestream which raised over $650,000 in 12 hours for COVID-19 relief funds. Including subsequent livestreams in collaboration with McLoughlin, the #HopeFromHome campaign raised over $1.7 million. In June 2020, McLoughlin raised over $600,000 for the Black Lives Matter organisations The Bail Project, NAACP Empowerment Programs, Color of Change, and the Advancement Project. In October 2020, McLoughlin participated in the YouTuber MrBeast's Team Trees fundraising campaign, raising over $150,000 for the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees in combat of climate change. In December 2020, McLoughlin raised over $1.4 million in 10 hours for the Red Nose Day campaign. Including subsequent livestreams in collaboration with McLoughlin, the campaign raised over $4.6 million.
Views on YouTube
McLoughlin has been critical of the changing algorithms and policies at YouTube, voicing his dissatisfaction. In November 2016, McLoughlin responded to YouTube pulling ads from "unsuitable content", stating, "This is people's careers. To completely switch how you do things and not tell anybody is a shitty thing to do." Later that year, he accused the website of using "shady tactics" and "manipulating viewers" after algorithm changes starting in September had caused channels to decrease in new views and subscribers. In May 2018, he responded to a surprise algorithm test from YouTube which changed the order of videos displayed in its subscription feed by stating, "People use the subscription tab to mainly avoid this sort of algorithmic behavior. Please keep that to the home page and recommendations." He has criticised the YouTube algorithm for putting pressure on creators to be constantly creating content and has discussed the problem of creator mental health with YouTube, suggesting that the company could hide video view counts similarly to Instagram's experimenting with hiding the number of likes on posts or that it could remove the dislike button. At the same time, he said that YouTube had made him less lonely and less despressed by providing his life with "purpose". In response to an announcement in March 2020 that enforcement of YouTube’s Community Guidelines would be increasingly handled by algorithms instead of human review due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McLoughlin said "This tweet sounds ominous. To be at the mercy of a system that you admit does not work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you’re letting staff stay home and isolate to keep them safe but this will scare a lot of people."
Views on the video game industry
McLoughlin has argued that video game culture should become more inclusive, and that controversies with companies like Activision Blizzard and the use of so-called "gamer words" on Twitch indicated a toxic "chad energy" in the video game industry and culture. Linking these problems to broader issues, he said "I hope whatever culture we're shifting towards is in that more accepting, open space. There's still a lot of groundwork to be doing, just like in real life and things like LGBTQ representation. But I think we're going in the right direction."
- With Raised to the Ground
- As Jacksepticeye
As main artist:
- "Please Jack (feat. Hello3itch & lil Radio)" (2021)
As featured artist:
- The Gregory Brothers – "All the Way (I believe in Steve)" (2016)
- NateWantsToBattle – "Enjoy the Show" (2016)
- The Gregory Brothers – "All the Way (Pop Remix) [feat. Mike O.]" (2017)
- The Gregory Brothers – "What Is My Life" (2018)
- The Gregory Brothers – "Dude's a Beast (Can't We Just Kill Each Other In Peace)" (2018)
- The Gregory Brothers – "Get Back Up" (2019)
- Party In Backyard – "Drop It" (2020)
|2021||15 Months||Himself||Short film, also director, editor and writer|||
|Free Guy||Jacksepticeye||Cameo appearance, credited as Seán William McLoughlin|||
|2017||Polaris: Player Select||Disney XD||Himself|||
|Ireland's Rich List||RTÉ 2||Guest|||
|2018||The Late Late Show||RTÉ One|||
|2015–16||Did You Know Gaming?||Himself (voice)||Narrated 2 episodes|||
|2017||asdfmovie||Unnamed voice role||He appeared in the 10th installment of the series|||
|2018||Good Mythical Morning||Himself||Also appeared in Good Mythical More|||
|2015||PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist||Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android||Himself (voice)|||
|2017||Bendy and the Ink Machine||Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch,||Shawn Flynn (voice)|||
|The Escapists 2||Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch,||Playable character|||
|Pinstripe||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch||Jack (voice)
Drunk Man 2 (voice)
|2018||Monster Prom||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Nintendo Switch||Mr. Pheel the Eel (voice)
|2019||River City Girls||Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch||Godai (voice)|||
|Vacation Simulator||PlayStation VR, Windows (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift)||MountainShopBot (voice)|||
|2020||Murder House||Microsoft Windows||Janitor Jack (voice)|||
Awards and nominations
|2016||Shorty Awards||Tech and Innovation: Gaming||Nominated|||
|The Game Awards||Trending Gamer||Nominated|||
|2017||Golden Joystick Awards||Best Streamer/Broadcaster||Nominated|||
|2019||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Gamer||Nominated|||
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards||Favorite Esports Star||Nominated|||
|2021||JCI Ireland "Ten Outstanding Young Persons"||Cultural achievement||Won|||
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