Roy Chiato is back. After a two month “indefinite” hiatus, the star indie VTuber is returning on June 1 with a new model and style of content that builds on his six years of streaming.
But the barista bunny, formerly known as Roy Zoga, isn’t considering this return just a ‘redebut’. It’s an entirely fresh slate for the long-term content creator who is dropping his middle school-made moniker for a slick brand he is confident in for the long haul.
“I’m treating this as a rebranding, a debut,” he told NewsDrop ahead of the return stream. “The name is changing, and there’s a new model and assets. It’s new everything. We ripped out all of what was Roy Zoga and we’re putting in new stuff.”
"Welcome back to the Cup of Dusk. Sorry to have kept you waiting!"— Roy ☕ Debuting June 1st (@RoyChiato) May 25, 2023
✨Thursday, June 1st at 6:00 PM PST✨ pic.twitter.com/co3Nhy63Yq
Roy, at the time of his indefinite hiatus in April 2023, had 15,000 followers on Twitch. A long time streamer, having dabbled on Amazon-owned platform since 2017, he held chats with some of the space’s biggest names at the Cup of Dusk, talking about anything from content creation tips to miscellaneous shenanigans.
The decision to step away from content creation wasn’t an easy one, leading him to an “emotional rollercoaster” of sorts.
“A lot of the emotions I had going on were regret — whether I had made the right choice — self-doubt, and wondering if I had made the right decision of going on break, especially for the amount of time I was gone,” he explained.
“I had a few friends reach out to me and say ‘it must be really nice to have all this free time,’ and it didn’t. As most content creators would tell you, breaks are the hardest thing you can do.
“Having the downtime has made it easier to plan for the return, but all I had was time. I had a gross amount of time that I was sometimes overwhelmed with it and did nothing because I had so much time to do nothing, I didn’t want to do anything. I was paralyzed by too many choices or opportunities.”
With time though, Roy was able to reflect on his six years as a streamer and prime himself for the future.
The first step was dropping the “Xbox Live gamertag” name and putting value in a marketable brand. For the barista bunny, working in a macchiato pun was the least he could do. The Roy Chiato name had actually been locked in since January. While it was difficult to abandon a name and style he had curated across nearly two decades of dreams and idolizing, it’s nevertheless refreshing.
Roy - What everyone called me anyway!— Roy ☕ Debuting June 1st (@RoyChiato) May 27, 2023
Chiato - Like a MACCHIATO.
Wanted to lean more into the coffee and café aesthetic. ☕️😉 https://t.co/FqhZ4IQXU1
The next was what content he was inspired to create. Roy had jumped from niche-to-niche as both a VTuber and a regular streamer. Horror games, speedrunning, community events, anime reviews, even cooking and baking had become, at one point, a regular part of his content. Stepping back let him reflect on a clearer direction he wanted to take.
“I was looking for a new way to invent myself with content and with what I was focusing on, not just with streaming but with YouTube and TikTok and other platforms,” he said.
“During the downtime, I was able to watch and study a lot more. I studied a lot of VTubers and content creators more generally, and decided the type of person and creator I wanted to be coming back.
“I have ideas now in the works that I was kind of starting to think about before going on break, but now that I’ve had time to mull on them and think about what I wanted to do, it’s easier to put them on paper now and make plans of attack."
That plan of attack includes a major expansion into voice acting. He managed to put choice paralysis aside to pursue proper training and coaching for VA work, and has already started auditioning for roles.
On the side, ASMR and character RP videos will supplement that growth. Other short-form content — not just the Twitch grind he put himself on — will also make an appearance.
Ultimately, it’s part of his journey to become a more “well-rounded” entertainer. He spent years just throwing himself into any challenge he saw it possible to complete. Now he has a clear direction and goals to achieve, and a strong foundation to build off.
His hiatus and final stream as Roy Zoga, while somewhat melancholic, also came with a realization of the impact he had on the community. He’s got the recognition and the platform to grow from, and he wants to seize the opportunity with both hands.
“Seeing how sad and emotional people got — and I got — at my last stream, that was where the regret set in… I’m not saying I was the tiniest VTuber ever, but I didn’t think I was ‘impacting people’s lives.’
“When people were talking about my return and saying ‘this made my day’ or ‘I must be dreaming, I can’t believe you’re back,’ I was surprised. I’m happy and more anxious that I don’t disappoint them.”
And with things “on the up and up,” the barista bunny has a few aces up his sleeve for June and beyond thanks to his renewed passion for VTubing.
“I’m excited to share a lot of plans for the future and a lot of cool things I get to talk about during the debut. The debut is something people should not miss. June is going to be a very busy month, and it's full steam ahead every other month.”