YouTube “Playables” could bring Facebook-style casual games to YouTube

YouTube “Playables” could bring Facebook-style casual games to YouTube

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The Wall Street Journal has an interesting report on a new “YouTube Playables” feature that it says is currently in testing. Google recently killed off one YouTube-adjacent gaming service, Stadia, but that was AAA games streamed frame by frame over the Internet. “Playables” would take more of a Facebook approach, offering more casual, simple games that run in a browser. Think Farmville or Angry Birds, but on YouTube.

One example game from the report is Stack Bounce, a brick-breaking game that has a smartphone app but can also run in a browser. I know the Flash platform has been dead for years, but in my mind, these are still “Flash games”—simple, 2D, addictive games on a browser.

Why exactly would anyone want casual games on YouTube? It says YouTube “is already a popular destination for gamers and competes with Amazon’s Twitch for viewers of livestreamed footage. By hosting a selection of online games, the product would give YouTube a larger footprint in the sector.” Do people play Flash-style games on Twitch? If you look at a “time watched” game tracker for Twitch, what you get are almost exclusively the AAA games that Google opted out of when it shut down Stadia. Aside from gambling games, everything in the top 50 is a AAA title.

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