Part of a series on YouTube shows that don’t suck
In September 2013, Creative Assembly used its remaining advertising budget for Total War: Rome II to sponsor a special on the Punic Wars. Their chosen venue was Extra Credits, a venerable YouTube channel devoted to analyzing the how and why of video games. Creative Assembly offered no conditions of sponsorship, but writer James Portnow decided to mention them anyway.
To paraphrase one commenter: so it was that one of the worst games of 2013 started one of the best YouTube channels of all time.
Although Extra History frequently features sponsored series (mainly on WWII, the Cold War, and most recently the Battle of Thermopylae), most of its content is viewer-supported and curated through Patreon, offering almost weekly updates on topics from Finance to Simon Bolivar.
My personal favorite series have been “The History of Paper Money” and “Hunting the Bismarck.” The former went a long way toward making monetary policy interesting and comprehensible (along with “The South Sea Bubble”), while the latter is as tense and emotionally-driven as an actual war movie.
Since then, Extra Credits has expanded to such topics as Extra Sci-Fi, Extra Mythology, and Extra Politics, but only Extra History really scratches my itch and remains the overwhelming favorite of many.