Google is reportedly testing a new product that will support online gaming via YouTube. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday (June 23), that employees at YouTube's parent company Google have been invited to participate in testing a product called Playables, that lets users play games on mobile devices or desktops.
The report also suggests that the Playables feature will enable users to play games on YouTube’s official website via the web browsers but also via Google’s Android mobile operating system and Apple’s iOS. “Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube,” a company spokesperson from Google shared with the media. “We’re always experimenting with new features, but have nothing to announce right now.”
Google's Playables May Shape Up As A Competitor To Netflix Games
Last year, Google announced plans to tail off its video gaming service Stadia, since it has failed to gain the expected traction with users. it's important to note that YouTube is a significant force in the gaming world, owing to its live stream services, which is apparently a part of CEO Neal Mohan's strategy to expand into new areas amid a slowdown in advertising spending. YouTube recorded a 2.6% drop in year-on-year revenue, according to Alphabet’s latest earnings report published in April 2023.
Previously, the company had launched 'YouTube Gaming' in 2015, a stand-alone app where gamers and creators could stream live sessions and catch up on Esports recordings. But that platform too winded down in 2018 as it failed to pick up as YouTube renewed its focus towards a separate gaming vertical to their main platforms to maximise engagement. At the moment, it's unclear how YouTube plans on monetizing this new feature. If rolled out within 2023, the service will arrive on the heels of Netflix Games, which just released its summer slate and is expected to gain momentum as a major force in the gaming sector by the end of this year.
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JJ is a writer for the Gaming section at Gossip.GG and brings multiple years of experience covering the gaming beat.