The Game Theorists is the original and main channel of the Theorist group of channels, owned and ran by Matthew Patrick and his wife Stephanie Cordato. In 2015, a spin-off channel was launched, The Film Theorists, as well as another channel for live gameplay streams, GTLive.
The channel was launched on August 23, 2009 and was originally titled "MatthewPatrick13", when MatPat was an aspiring actor and director. He utilized the channel to upload videos to promote a possible career in acting. The videos mostly consisted of monologues, musical numbers, audition tapes, and recordings of plays he starred in. Patrick continued uploading such videos until Christmas 2010, when he uploaded a slightly modified version of the video he used to propose to Stephanie. The video was also the first Patrick spent a lot of time editing.
A few years after the launch of the channel, Patrick decided to leave the filming and acting industry. However, he was unable to find anyone willing to hire him, so he went to the internet for help. On April 14, 2011, Patrick uploaded a promotional trailer for his new show, Game Theory, inspired by the Escapist's show Extra Credits. A few days after the release of the promo, Patrick uploaded his first Game Theory, discussing how Chrono Trigger's time travel works. In addition to the channel, some early Game Theories were regularly featured on the main pages of GameTrailers and ScrewAttack!.
Despite being successful on the other websites, by the release of his twenty-second Game Theory, Patrick decided to solely upload on his YouTube channel. With this, Patrick also introduced two new shows on his channel: Game Exchange, hosted by Gaijin Goombah and focused more on history and culture rather than science and mathematics; and Digressing & Sidequesting, hosted by Ronnie Edwards. After these changes and additions to the channel, The Game Theorists slowly rose in popularity, with some of his most famous episodes being uploaded around this time, such as his "Mario is Mental" two-parter and "Link Is Dead".
By September 2013, the channel had reached 500,000 subscribers, which Patrick celebrated with a "Draw My Life" special. The channel was growing in popularity so fast that after only a few months of the 500K milestone video, the channel had reached one million subscribers in December 2013. Before uploading a 1M milestone video, Patrick introduced a new series on the channel, titled "Crossover" and was narrated by Drake McWhorter and featuring art by Kenny Landefeld, the show's main goal was to link together all gaming universes together into one.
In early 2014, Gaijin Goombah started another show on the channel titled "Culture Shock", expanding on the idea of Game Exchange. In mid-2014, "Smash History" was started, going into depth about the origins of the moveset, etc. of each of the characters and stages of Super Smash Bros., starting with Mario. Also in mid-2014, The Game Theorists collaborated with FootofaFerret to make "A Brief History of The Game Theorists". By that point, that channel was rising to three million subscribers. Patrick also uploaded a mini-playlist of theories regarding the popular survival horror game series Five Nights at Freddy's.
In June 2015, the Theorist crew launched a new channel titled The Film Theorists, which covered film and television and its main series being Film Theory, Did You Know Movies, and Frame by Frame. The month after, Patrick launched a new show; "Deadlock", in which he and someone else debate/argue over various points in gaming history. In October, they started a third channel: GTLive, where they did live streams of various fan-suggested games. The first episode of GTLive was a discussion stream announced at the end of the Game Theory FNAF, The Clue that SOLVES Five Nights at Freddy's!.
Currently, the channel has over seven million subscribers and roughly 790,000,000 views.