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YouTube gets into games with new Playables product

Employees are starting to test the platform's first steps into games as it moves beyond video
YouTube gets into games with new Playables product
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A change may well be on the horizon for gaming, as internet goliath YouTube is looking to introduce online games.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has informed its employees via email that YouTube is moving beyond just video hosting and is already internally testing a product to play online games.

If all goes to plan, games should be playable on YouTube’s site via web browsers and mobile systems that run iOS or Android.

YouPlay…?

Employees are reportedly already being invited to test the new product, known as Playables, with arcade game Stack Bounce among those currently available for them to try out.

A YouTube spokesperson informed that gaming has in fact been a focus for some time, and that while YouTube has "nothing to announce right now", new features are indeed being experimented with.

Given YouTube’s popularity in the video streaming world, and with the livestreaming of games being a noteworthy subcategory on the platform, hosting games for itself seems like a sensible move to further grow the platform – especially in the midst of YouTube’s recent slowing down of advertising spending received.

80 percent of YouTube Gaming's esports content in 2022 was made up of mobile games and saw viewership reach 1.2 billion in Q3. Facebook Gaming, meanwhile, announced that it would be shuttering its app on iOS and Android, finding itself unable to compete with YouTube or Twitch.

The potential for a future gaming shop in YouTube has already aggravated some online with anti-platform sentiments. Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney expressed his discontent with the Playables reveal on Twitter, tweeting: "Apple will let YouTube host streaming games in the YouTube app while blocking Microsoft XCloud and NVIDIA GeForce NOW?"

His long-running dispute with Apple dates back to 2020, when Epic tried to circumvent App Store fees by offering discounted V-Bucks on its own site. Apple consequently removed the title from the App Store and a court case arose, with both companies now asking the US court to reconsider its ruling.