YouTube Invests In Gaming, Launches Mini-Games For Paid Subscribers

As TikTok's parent company ByteDance pulls back on its gaming ambitions, YouTube is investing more in the gaming industry.

Premium users will now have access to “Playables,” a group of online games that can be played on both the platform's mobile app and desktop app. Paid subscribers can now try out the 37 mini-games directly on YouTube.

Google sent the Playables offering to its employees as a test in June, introducing games to its social-video platform on iOS and Android for the first time.

“Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube,” said a spokesperson. “We’re always experimenting with new features.”

Now one of those features, Playables, is ready to use, providing those who pay for YouTube's Premium subscription option -- which increased by $2 per month this summer -- some extra value.



The games include popular titles such as "Angry Birds Showdown," "Brain Out," "Daily Solitaire," "The Daily Crossword," and a slew of classic arcade games. The full roster of games can be found under the Playables section in the app's Explore tab.

The current games, however, may be replaced with other titles next year, as the notification sent to Premium users stated that these titles would only be available through March 28th, 2024.

Like ByteDance, which announced mass layoffs on Monday in an attempt to restructure its gaming division Nuverse, major tech companies have experienced unfortunate results when it comes to increased gaming investment.

Amazon, for example, got rid of 130 jobs in its free games unit two weeks back.

But other companies continue onward, like Meta, which has been experimenting with its Instant Games offering for as many as seven years.

Earlier this month, Meta began to make it easier for game developers to publish beta versions of their Instant Games directly to Facebook without review. Furthermore, in April, the company introduced multiplayer games in the Messenger app, allowing users to play games together during video calls.

Still, Google has had its own struggles with gaming. Last September, the company shut down its three-year-old cloud gaming service known as Stadia.

In 2019, Google also stopped its four-year-old YouTube Gaming service, which the company eventually said caused “a lot of brand confusion.”

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