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"It's going to be awesome," Felix Kjellberg says of his eventual leave from YouTube

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February 11, 2016 12:00 AM

Felix Kjellberg wasn’t the best student in college.

“I had a lot of free time at university, but that was because I wasn’t studying like I should have been,” the YouTube star known as PewDiePie says in the current issue of PEOPLE.

Instead, he was spending his time playing video games – something that he’s now turned into a very lucrative career by documenting his gameplay and posting his live commentary on YouTube.

In fact, Kjellberg’s YouTube channel now has more than 42 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed a record-breaking 11 billion times.

What’s more, Kjellberg, 26, is now booked for speaking engagements around the world and is a respected influencer in the gaming industry who reportedly made $12 million from his “passion” last year.

For more from Kjellberg – including how he got started with his YouTube channel – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

“It’s more than I possibly could have dreamed about,” says Kjellberg, who recently released the self-help parody book This Book Loves You and just launched a YouTube Red series, Scare PewDiePie.

“Doing Scare PewDiePie was one of the craziest experiences of my life. It was terrifying and confusing and I couldn’t wait for it to be over – but it was a lot of fun,” he says of his adventure-reality series. “The concept is that I am put into live horror games. We’re taking the fact that I play those games on my computer to the next level.”

But filming Scare PewDiePie, touring and doing his YouTube channel means less and less time do what he loves: actually playing video games.

So, Kjellberg already has plans for eventual retirement.

“I have a bucket list of games I want to play just for fun,” he says. “It’s going to be awesome.”

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