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YouTube Gaming section gets overhauled, app going offline in 2019



YTG Family
The YouTube Gaming app launched in 2015, but failed to
build a core audience.


  • YouTube has announced it will discontinue support for its
    YouTube Gaming app in March 2019 after less than four
  • A new web portal,, will
    replace the service and allow users to search through video game
    specific content.
  • More than 200 million users watch gaming content on YouTube
    everyday, but the company has struggled to endear the sense of
    community seen on Twitch, a competing streaming service.

The YouTube Gaming app will cease to be in March 2019, as the
streaming service reassesses how to better serve one of its
largest audiences.

YouTube users looking exclusively for video game content can now
visit a revamped web portal for YouTube Gaming that separates
videos by game, and promotes live streamers at

YouTube Gaming launched in 2015 as a competitor to Twitch, a
gaming focused streaming platform that has become wildly popular
for gamers looking to build a following and monetize their
playtime. YouTube boasts more than 200 million viewers for video
game content every day and 50 billion hours of gaming videos
watched in the last year, but struggles to build the sort of of
dedicated gaming communities seen on Twitch.

YouTube Gaming
The debut look of YouTube Gaming in


Major gaming events and individual content creators alike have
chosen to partner with Twitch due to its monetization options and
a larger focus on community interaction. While YouTube and Twitch
both offer a chat service for viewers, Twitch has built a culture
across the site with the use of emotes and moderators who
voluntarily watch the live chat for bad behavior. Viewers can
also subscribe to specific channels for exclusive emotes, and
they can purchase a sitewide currency to tip streamers they

The ability to earn money while creating content without relying
on viewer counts or ad revenue brought a number of popular
non-gaming content creators to Twitch, prompting the company to
launch Twitch Creative in 2015, the same year YouTube Gaming
rolled out. With the line between gaming specific and creative
content blurring, YouTube found itself in competition with Twitch
for popular content creators. YouTube began offering its own
channel subscriptions in June 2018; viewers receive a special
badge next to their name and access to subscriber only chats.

YouTube Gaming Portal
A view of YouTube’s new
gaming portal


The new YouTube Gaming portal feels familiar to
Twitch’s layout as well, with a handful of featured videos or
streams being promoted at the top of the page, and the rest of
the content sorted by game or viewer engagement.

For gamers who are looking to avoid the rest of YouTube, the
portal is straightforward and organized, but it remains to be
seen if the site can spark a greater level of engagement between
YouTube gaming channels and the millions of viewers using the
side for on-demand video. YouTube has committed to highlighting a
“Gaming Creator on the Rise” each week to help promote less
popular channels.

Video game content remains a major portion of the greater YouTube
audience: Swedish gamer Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg
has owned the most followed YouTube channel since 2013 and now
boasts more than 66 million followers. However, the failure of
the YouTube Gaming app shows that the streaming service is still
struggling to retain viewer interest and guide them to new

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