YouTube Gaming App Retiring Today, Why Google Let It Go After Four Years

YouTube Gaming App Retiring Today, Why Google Let It Go After Four Years
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Google is known for many successful ventures and projects, but they also have a growing discard pile that’s welcoming a new member today – the YouTube Gaming App. Originally designed to be a more exclusive way for gamers to connect on the YouTube platform, Google has made the call to take it down after just four active years.

In 2014, Google had its eye on the present-day king of video game streaming, Twitch, however Amazon was quick to secure it with a nearly $1 billion-dollar deal after Google and Twitch failed to come to a substantial agreement. Less than a year later in 2015, YouTube Gaming was introduced as Twitch’s primary competitor.

Working similarly to the regular YouTube app, YouTube Gaming focused explicitly on gaming channels and livestream content in one secure, accessible area. The application allowed users to directly subscribe to specific games and players while creating a more targeted platform for streamers to share their gaming experiences through YouTube.

Over the last four years, YouTube Gaming has had its struggles and successes, but ultimately, it hasn’t made the leaps that Google would have liked. In September 2018, Google explained the new direction that they would be taking by merging YouTube Gaming with YouTube, rather than having a standalone app. On the official blog post released by Google, they shared, “we have a strong and vibrant audience on the YouTube Gaming app, but the amount of gamers we are able to reach is far bigger on YouTube.”

This statement led to Google thanking the people that helped YouTube Gaming to grow as much as it did, with a claimed 50 billion hours played and streamed through the app between 200 million players in 2018. In comparison to Twitch’s numbers during the same year, YouTube Gaming fell flat in terms of gamers, viewers, and overall revenue. That’s not to say that YouTube Gaming didn’t still perform well enough to succeed, but these numbers didn’t seem to measure up to what Google had expected of the streaming platform.

Despite YouTube Gaming retiring, the future is bright for Google in terms of where they want to go when it comes to gaming. Not only are they still creating a steady platform for streamers on YouTube, but they also introduced the concept of Google Stadia at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in March.

According to the Stadia page on the Google store, the idea is to create a platform that is easily accessible and works effortlessly via a “cloud based infrastructure” and with the potential for streaming “up to 4K HDR at 60 FPS.” Stadia encompasses many new ideas for the video game community, which may have potentially influenced Google’s decision to pull down the YouTube Gaming App while they focus on an entirely new experience altogether.

No matter how Google approaches gaming in the future, today we say goodbye to YouTube Gaming and hello to whatever comes next.