Her name is Miko and she is one of the most popular virtual streamers on Twitch. But behind it hides “The Technician”, pseudonym of the programmer who gives life to the influencer who already reaches more than 680,000 followers. Unlike other virtual characters, Miko is not entirely CGI-generated, but relies on a motion capture suit costing around $30,000.
The programmer was fired from the animation studio where she worked, despite having been in Los Angeles for only a few weeks. Her career was cut short and the $2,000-a-month lease left her stuck. Her solution was to take a gamble on Twitch, create content and invest in the equipment needed to create Miko. In just a few months, the growth of her channel has been meteoric and she now employs a team of seven people.
Miko represents one of the best-known examples of the so-called Vtubers, those content creators who do not show their real face but are in front of the camera. The virtual representation allows them to perform more movements and effects than would be normal and on the other hand in some cases helps them to maintain their privacy.
In the case of Miko, the programmer allows subscribers who make payments through Twitch Bits to decide how to interact with the streamer, allowing for example enlarging her head or directly “killing” the character.
Unlike other Vtubers, in this case you do know the face of the person behind it. “I think I went from about 200 to about 10,000 viewers in a couple of weeks,” explains the programmer. A sudden change triggered from a tweet that went viral where she was shown next to her character and showed how she moved in her motion capture suit.
During the first few weeks, at the end of last year, her income was around $300 a month and she owed thousands of dollars for the purchase of the equipment. Fortunately for the creator, her income has grown tremendously. “My income tripled the day I allowed the audience to be able to kill me and when I allowed them to be able to mute me for 30 seconds.” A series of actions that with classic streamers would be unthinkable, but with the addition of the virtual, the possibilities of interaction can be expanded.