Following the death of Stadia, Google is reportedly testing online gaming on YouTube

YouTube on Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • "Playables" is an online gaming feature that we may soon see on YouTube.
  • The company is reportedly inviting its employees to test the new feature.
  • Users can stream games via the YouTube app on their phones and on the web.

YouTube is reportedly testing a new product for playing online games, dubbed "Playables," says a recent Wall Street Journal report. The aim is to move beyond hosting games on the platform and give users the ability to play and share games hassle-free, notes WSJ, citing an email obtained by the publication inviting YouTube employees to try out the service.

"Playables" will allow users to play games through their Android devices and Apple iOS via the YouTube app and similarly on the YouTube website on desktop. One game included in the testing is Stack Bounce, which is a fun game that involves smashing bricks with a bouncing ball and is a favorite among available GameSnacks games to play on the Motorola Razr+ cover screen.

Despite killing Stadia, WSJ notes that this move from Google is to pursue new growth areas due to its current decline in advertising spending.

Close-up of the Stadia Controller held in Russell Holly's hands.

(Image credit: Russell Holly / Android Central)

"Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube," a company spokesman said in a statement to WSJ. "We're always experimenting with new features but have nothing to announce right now," they added.

YouTube, one of the powerful free video streaming platforms, already provides tons of gaming content through various gameplay tutorials, videos, live streaming, and also through Shorts. However, playing games and sharing them with friends might significantly boost the platform beyond just watching videos.

And YouTube wouldn't be the first video streaming service to adopt gaming, as Netflix has been trying to boost its own efforts, with not much success.

And while the games currently seen in the testing appear to be pretty undemanding, it would be interesting to see Google add larger titles to attract more gaming audiences with the help of Stadia's cloud gaming technology, as mentioned in the blog post announcing Stadia's discontinuation. For now, it's unclear how Google plans to make money from the product, but if it proves successful, perhaps it may fare better than Netflix's effort.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.