One of YouTube’s first standalone services was YouTube Gaming to capitalize on streaming games to a live audience. With the explosive rise of an Amazon-owned Twitch, Google is now integrating gaming into the main YouTube site and mobile apps.
Launched in 2015, the standalone YouTube Gaming aimed to provide tools and provide an optimized experience for the gaming community. It debuted features like Game Pages for discoverability, Super Chat and Channel Memberships, Dark Theme, and a new live streaming platform.
Given the crossover, Google is now “launching a new Gaming destination to give gamers a home on YouTube.” In practice, there is a new youtube.com/gaming site with the older destination and mobile apps being killed on March 2019.
Visually, it’s like the current YouTube homepage, but populated with gaming content. At the very top is a carousel of videos that are tuned to your watching preferences and highlights the personalized nature of YouTube Gaming.
You’ll also see top live games and the latest gaming videos from your subscriptions, bringing the best of uploaded videos and live gaming to one destination. We’ve also built dedicated shelves for live streams and trending videos.
Users are able to view content by game title, with a noticeable carousel of gaming cover art. These Game Pages — numbering in the tens of thousands — also appear on mobile and include popular videos, live streams, and other games from the same developer. Shelves for “Top live streams” and “Videos from your subscriptions” are below on the page.
Meanwhile, Google is still trying to foster smaller creators and keep them on YouTube Gaming. “On The Rise” will “showcase a new up and coming gaming creator to help more fans discover their content.” It is launching in the U.S. and roll out to more countries in the future.