Google has announced the imminent release of YouTube Gaming, a new app it has developed for gamers. The move puts Google directly into competition with Twitch, the well-known popular live streaming app.
The move by Google to compete against Twitch does have a sense of irony, given that Google was rumoured to be all set to buy out Twitch before it was acquired in the summer of 2014 by Amazon in a cash deal valued at $970 million. Google has obviously retained an interest in developing a live streaming platform aimed at gamers. Any curiosity about why YouTube was chosen is easily satisfied, given that YouTube already exists as an outlet for gaming by way of trailers, reviews, speedruns as well as recorded walkthroughs. Of course, YouTube is owned by Google, having been acquired in 2006 in a high-profile deal worth $1.65 billion.
Twitch has built up a community of active users totalling 100 million monthly, and Google is undoubtedly hoping to target some of that audience. Google has said that more than 25,000 games will each be given their own page, and that its intention with YouTube Gaming is to turn it into “a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title.”
One feature that will be unique to the YouTube Gaming platform will be the ability of users to follow games, in a similar way to how a user would follow a particular YouTube channel. By following a game title on the new Google app, users will be able to view in one place all sorts of video production and other content about the title in question without having to search across the internet for the same digital content.
Google has said it intends rolling out an improved live experience in the weeks ahead. YouTube Gaming will include automatic conversion of a stream into a YouTube video as well as DVR and a 60fps frame rate streaming.
The YouTube Gaming app will be rolled out to users in the US and the UK this summer. Google says it will listen to user feedback left on its YouTube Gaming social channels and will take that feedback into account for the final product.