Later this week, the end of a short-lived era is quickly approaching. Thursday, May 30th, Google is officially shutting down the YouTube Gaming app and its corresponding site. While the content will still be available through YouTube’s original homepage, Google has announced that they are shutting down the site in hopes of creating a “stronger home for the gaming community that thrives on YouTube, not just the YouTube Gaming app.”
As Twitch, currently owned by Amazon, started to grow in popularity, Google announced YouTube Gaming back in 2015 in hopes of competing with Twitch’s success. Through the specific app and standalone site, users could not only view and interact with their gaming content, but they could also discover smaller creators through highlights and recommendations. However, despite their best efforts, viewers just weren’t using the app, and Google announced that they were shutting down the app last fall. Earlier this year, the app was taken off of Google Play and the Apple App Store.
In an interview with Polygon, Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming at YouTube, said, “The problem is, if you didn’t have the app, or you weren’t using the gaming hub to kind of like discover this content, creators weren’t as discoverable. So many of these users are just using YouTube and the regular YouTube experience.” So, instead of leaving their viewers in separate YouTube hubs, it seems as if Google plans to bring them all back together to strengthen the community within the main site.
While YouTube Gaming is coming to an end, Google is far from backing out of the gaming industry. Google Stadia, a platform for gamers to stream high-end video, play games, and even play with their favorite streamers, will greatly rely on YouTube in the future.
So, rest in peace, YouTube Gaming; it was a good run.