YouTube’s Twitch competitor, YouTube Gaming is being shut down, the video streaming service announced in a blog post today. The YouTube Gaming site will redirect users to a new destination for gaming videos on YouTube itself while the YouTube Gaming app will be phased out by March 2019. The reason for this move is to ensure it reaches more gamers through YouTube rather than a specialised, standalone site and app. Existing features such as Super Chat and Channel Memberships will be carried over to the main YouTube experience.
“We have a strong and vibrant audience on the YouTube Gaming app, but the amount of gamers we are able to reach is far bigger on YouTube,” wrote YouTube’s Director of Product Management, Christina Chen on the company’s official blog. “After all, YouTube is where more than 200 million gamers come to engage with your favorite games and creators every day, watching over 50 billion hours of gaming content in the last 12 months alone. That’s why, in March 2019, we’ll retire the YouTube Gaming app and focus all of our gaming efforts on YouTube where we can reach our entire gaming community.”
During its India launch back in 2016, YouTube Gaming consumption trends in the country were skewed towards games on conventional formats like the PS4 and Xbox One.
“In terms of overall YouTube consumption, Indian viewers are definitely mobile first, with 55 percent of overall watch time in India coming from mobile,” said Ines Cha, Head of Gaming Content and Partnerships for YouTube Asia Pacific in conversation with Gadgets 360.
“Within the gamer community we’re still seeing console games dominate but as I mentioned, mobile games are gaining ascendance amongst casual gamers.”
Nonetheless, we wonder how popular YouTube Gaming actually is. According to Variety citing App Annie data, Twitch’s Android app was the 15th most popular entertainment app on Google’s Play Store while YouTube Gaming was at number 283.