Back in June, reports began circlating that Google, fresh off its Stadia streaming flop, was looking to incorporate playable online games into YouTube. Well, we can now sling those reports onto the ‘correct’ pile; testing for the tech giant new feature is officially underway.
The gist of Google’s new initiative, known as Playables, is that it’ll enable users to instantly play online games via YouTube’s website or iOS and Android apps – and now, as confirmed on its YouTube test features and experiments
“Playables are games that can be played directly on YouTube on both desktop and mobile devices,” the company explains. “If you’re part of this experiment, you’ll see a section on YouTube called ‘Playables’ that will appear alongside other content on the home feed.”
Google makes no mention of the games that’ll be available as part of its initial round of testing – which is initially only involve a “limited number of users” – but the Wall Street Journal’s report back in June suggested the experiment would kick off with just a single title, Stack Bounce, a casual arcade game challenging players to smash horizontally stacked bricks with a ball. That, at the very least, would provide some indication of the market Google is aiming for here.
Whether or not Playables ever manages to progress beyond its current testing phase remains to be seen; Google is, of course, notorious for abandoning projects, and its previous dalliance with gaming wasn’t exactly a successful one.