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YouTube Testing New Online Gaming Service After Google Stadia Shutdown – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

YouTube Testing New Online Gaming Service After Google Stadia Shutdown



YouTube is said to be experimenting with a new online gaming service called Playables. This comes just a few months after Google shut down its high-profile moonshot project, Stadia, which tried to bring cloud gaming to the mainstream but failed to attract enough users. In September 2022, Phil Harrison, the former chief of the project, suggested that Google might use the cloud streaming technology developed for Stadia in some of its other products and services.

Playables appears to have some similarities to Stadia’s promise of highly accessible cloud gaming. According to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube has started testing the service internally, inviting Google employees to join. The solution allows users to instantly play and share a variety of games on desktops, smartphones, and tablets through the YouTube app. Both Android and iOS devices are supported in the ongoing internal test.

While it is uncertain if Playables is the first attempt at repurposing Stadia’s technology, it is clear that the Stadia shutdown did not end Google’s ambitions in the online gaming space. An early March report stated that Google is working with publishers on new cloud gaming projects.

Currently, it is unclear whether Playables will offer exclusive games like Stadia, as the leaked email revealing the service contained no information about YouTube’s plans for the platform. A company spokesperson stated that gaming is one of YouTube’s long-term focus points that warrants constant experimentation, but declined to comment on Playables.

The size of Playables’ experimental game library is unknown, with only one title, Stack Bounce, mentioned in the report. The game is currently available on Google Play, and its store listing describes a similar premise of destroying brick sheets with a bouncing ball. This suggests that Playables could offer a way for Android developers to make their games available on iOS devices and desktops without committing to actual ports.

It is uncertain whether YouTube Playables will see the light of day. However, its very existence reaffirms that Google is still interested in the online gaming space. The full potential of Playables is yet to be seen, but it is an intriguing development to keep an eye on.

Source: WSJ

YouTube has reportedly started experimenting with a new online gaming service called Playables. This development arrives mere months after Google shut down Stadia, its high-profile moonshot project which unsuccessfully tried bringing cloud gaming into the mainstream.



The rise and fall of Google Stadia took barely three years combined, with the tech giant being fairly quick to abandon the service due to an overall lack of users. As part of the shutdown announcement in September 2022, the project’s former chief, Phil Harrison, suggested that Google might implement the cloud streaming technology developed for Stadia in some of its other products and services moving forward.

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It is unclear whether Playables is the first attempt at such a repurposing, although the platform does appear to have some overlap with Stadia’s promise of highly accessible cloud gaming. YouTube recently started testing the service internally, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing an email sent to Google employees inviting them to join Playables. The solution reportedly allows users to instantly play and share a variety of games on desktops, smartphones, and tablets through the YouTube app. Both Android and iOS devices are said to be supported in the ongoing internal test.

Google Stadia Controller

The size of Playables’ experimental game library is unclear, with the newly emerged report mentioning but a single title, Stack Bouncewhich tasks players with destroying brick sheets with a bouncing ball. An Android exclusive of the same name is currently available on Google Play, with its store listing describing a similar premise. Assuming the two are one and the same, this particular detail suggests Playables could offer a way for Android developers to make their games available on iOS devices and desktops without committing to actual ports.

While Google Stadia offered exclusive games, there is currently no indication that Playables intends to do the same. The leaked email revealing the existence of the service contained no information about YouTube’s plans for the platform. In a statement provided to WSJ, a company spokesperson labeled gaming as one of YouTube’s long-term focus points that warrants constant experimentation, but declined to comment on Playables.

Given that state of affairs, it remains to be seen whether YouTube Playables ends up seeing the light of day. That notwithstanding, its very existence reaffirms that the Stadia shutdown did not spell the end of Google’s ambitions in the online gaming space. This was already underlined by an early March report stating that Google is working with publishers on new cloud gaming projects.

MORE: Online Games That Were Affected By Stadia’s Shutdown

Source: WSJ

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