The Google-owned video platform is slated to launch YouTube Gaming — a site and app dedicated exclusively to video game-related content. The most popular performer on all of YouTube, for instance, is PewDiePie, a gamer with more than 37 million subscribers and 9 billion views.
“On YouTube, gaming has spawned entirely new genres of videos, from let’s plays (humorous playthroughs with commentary), walkthroughs (strategic guides) and speedruns (an attempt to complete a game as fast as possible) to cooking and music videos,” wrote Alan Joyce, product manager, in a blog post announcing the endeavor.
The new hub will feature specific pages for more than 25,000 total games as well as channels from game publishers and popular creators. Live streaming will be at the epicenter of YouTube Gaming, Joyce wrote, and in coming weeks, YouTube will revamp its streaming capabilities with features that make it easier to record and alert viewers when a stream is under way.
Gaming is the third vertical that YouTube has pursued. After launching a music subscription service called YouTube Music Key late last year, which is still in beta, the company unveiled YouTube Kids, a standalone app, in February.
YouTube Gaming is Google’s answer to Twitch, a live-stream gaming site that the search giant reportedly sought to acquire last year, but which Amazon ultimately purchased for $1.1 billion. One key difference, however, is that while Twitch offers creators the ability to monetize by charging for subscriptions, YouTube Gaming will only offer advertising opportunities.