YouTube is one of the world’s biggest brands. The website sees huge volumes of traffic every day and hosts hundreds of millions of hours’ worth of videos across the platform.
YouTube is the undisputed video king. However, could the company be looking to branch out and foray into the gaming world? While YouTube has always hosted gaming-related video content, could the company actually become a fully-fledged gaming platform? Let’s find out.
Before we get into YouTube’s shift into gaming, let’s take a quick look at some YouTube stats to get an idea of the size of the platform today.
It’s one of the world’s most popular websites and currently boasts around 2.56 billion monthly active users.
Every minute, more than 500 hours of video content is uploaded to the site. Many of the top videos on YouTube have racked up billions and billions of views, and in 2022 the company generated $29.2 billion in revenue.
With such success, it might seem surprising that YouTube would be looking to explore entirely uncharted territory and turn it into a gaming platform. However, recent news from the company suggests it’s doing exactly that.
As we touched on earlier, YouTube is a haven for video game content. Whether it’s recorded gameplay footage, walkthrough tutorials, teaser trailers, or rundowns of the best games for Mac, there is a huge volume of video game content on YouTube.
Recently, YouTube has released details of a new feature called Playables, which could see YouTube completely transform itself into a digital platform.
According to reports, the Playables feature will allow users to stream games directly from YouTube to their laptops or mobile devices. Further details are scarce, but experts believe the feature could focus on smaller, independent game titles to begin with, before potentially partnering with larger more well-known game brands and franchises.
Details on the price of this feature are yet to be confirmed. It could be included as part of YouTube’s free service, or it could only be made available to YouTube Premium subscribers.
What Could This Mean for the Future of Gaming?
If YouTube Playables takes off, what could this mean for the future of the gaming industry? There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the concept of cloud gaming. This is a service that allows users to stream games directly from online marketplaces, rather than downloading them or owning a physical copy. Like Netflix for games, if you will.
We’ve already seen major brands like PlayStation and Xbox launch cloud gaming services, and by all accounts, it would appear even YouTube is wanting to get in on the action.
What this demonstrates is a wider shift in the gaming world, one that can be seen reflected across much of today’s digital media. Rather than owning the games we play, we’ll pay to access them from an online portal.
This will be more convenient for many people; modern games are massive, often too big for people to realistically store and install themselves. It’s also a more environmentally friendly approach, developers and publishers will be able to reduce the amount of physical packaging they produce.
However, critics have been outspoken against the idea of cloud gaming. To them, it erodes personal ownership and puts gamers at the mercy of these online marketplaces who can add and remove games at will.
YouTube Playables marks an exciting step forward for the company. No longer content to be just the king of video, it would appear YouTube is looking to branch out and establish itself as a serious contender in the gaming industry. Will YouTube Playables be a success? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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