Google is planning to launch a new online gaming product for YouTube called Playables. The gaming tech will allow members to instantly play games via mobile devices or computers through the YouTube app.
“Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube. We’re always experimenting with new features but have nothing to announce right now,” said a YouTube representative to IGN.
This is not Google’s first venture into the gaming realm. The company had an unsuccessful run with Google Stadia, which was shut down on January 18th, 2023. Since then, Google has tried to recycle the technology for other uses, including the Peloton fitness app, but again did not get the traction needed to continue usage.
As reported by Videogames Chronicle, “While Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.
Unlike Google Stadia, which utilized a cloud-based platform through Chrome and Chromecast, Playables will use YouTube’s well-established platform to run games.
There are already hundreds of thousands of channels on YouTube Gaming Live where fans can watch gamers live stream gameplay and share strategies, so branching out into supporting online games isn’t too off-brand for YouTube. The real question is whether this move will be popular among gamers who are already quite attached to their gaming platforms yet always seem interested in trying out new innovations.
Currently, Google is running internal trials as employees are testing out Playables. There are rumors several games are available, although the only one named so far is called Stack Bounce, a brick-smashing arcade-style game. There is no word yet on when (or if) the gaming service will be available to YouTube members.