Playables: You may soon be playing games on YouTube
A Wall Street Journal report claims that Google is considering adding playable games to YouTube. Gaming content has a strong presence on YouTube already. Users can watch game trailers, let's plays, tips and tricks videos, podcasts about games, and much more.
Called Playables, the service is being tested internally currently at Google according to an internal email that is sent to Google employees according to the Wall Street Journal.
Playables adds games to YouTube that users can play immediately in web browsers or using the official YouTube mobile applications for Android and iOS.
The gaming system is being tested with a single game only currently. Stack Bounce is described as a game in which players smash horizontally stacked bricks with a ball. It is unclear if it is this game, but it sounds like it.
The report by the Wall Street Journal claims that YouTube's CEO Neal Mohan is exploring new growth opportunities for the service.
Google shut down Stadia, a game streaming service, just recently. It launched Stadia with high hopes in 2019, but the service faced issues, such as limited support for games, always-online requirement and high game prices, that contributed to its downfall.
The approach on YouTube is different. It targets a casual audience, judging from the single game revealed so far and the target platforms. While Google has not revealed specifics, it seems likely that Playable will become available to all users on the platform.
YouTube Premium users may be able to play the games without advertising, everyone else may sit through ads before they may start playing supported games or while playing.
Google is not the only company with a streaming service that is pushing into games. Netflix launched Games in November 2021 with five exclusive games. The streaming giant has expanded the selection to over 50 games currently and plans to launch another 40 games by the end of the year.
Games are only available on iOS and Android currently for subscribers, but Netflix considers bringing them to TV screens in the future.
Netflix's offering includes casual games but also highly acclaimed games such as Into the Breach or Oxenfree.
Amazon is another streaming provider that has created its own Amazon Games studios. There is also Prime Gaming, gaming offers for Amazon Prime subscribers.
YouTube's vast audience could make instantly playable games an success, but it depends largely how the service is implemented on the site. It is too early to tell if some games will become exclusive to YouTube or will even be created exclusively for the site.
YouTube faces tough competition in the online gaming segment. Sites like Armorgames or Kongregate have a large assortment of readily playable games, and it may be tough to compete eye to eye with these established gaming platforms.
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