After revealing its plan to introduce AI dubbing feature on YouTube, now Google is reportedly testing a new feature known as ‘Playables’ — an innovative initiative that aims to integrate online games directly into the YouTube platform, allowing users to play games instantly either through the YouTube website or via its mobile applications on iOS and Android.
The Wall Street Journal first broke the news, citing Google employees who received an email about the project. The service is currently in its internal testing phase, with employees being invited to participate in the process. As of now, one game mentioned in the report is ‘Stack Bounce’, a casual arcade game where players break horizontally stacked bricks with a bouncing ball.
YouTube’s foray into the gaming industry is not entirely surprising. The platform has long been a popular destination for gamers, hosting live streams and gameplay videos that attract millions of viewers. With the introduction of ‘Playables’, YouTube is poised to compete with other streaming platforms like Twitch, not just for viewership but also for direct gaming engagement.
The launch of ‘Playables’ aligns with the strategic decision of YouTube’s CEO, Neal Mohan, who is exploring new growth opportunities amidst declining advertising expenditures. However, Google’s past endeavors in the gaming distribution business, such as the cloud gaming platform Stadia, have not always been successful, indicating that the success of ‘Playables’ is not guaranteed.
Despite the challenges, the move to integrate online games into YouTube is a clear indication of the platform’s commitment to innovation and user engagement. While there is no information yet on when ‘Playables’ will be available for public launch, the gaming community and YouTube users alike are eagerly awaiting its debut.