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YouTube gets into casual gaming with Playables

Netflix is taking gaming seriously. So, why not YouTube? The video streaming platform is giving Premium users access to a set of online games that can be directly played on either the mobile app or desktop app

Mathures Paul Published 29.11.23, 07:50 AM
YouTube Playables, an experimental feature, is only available to premium users

YouTube Playables, an experimental feature, is only available to premium users Picture: The Telegraph

Netflix is taking gaming seriously. So, why not YouTube? The video streaming platform is giving Premium users access to a set of online games that can be directly played on either the mobile app or desktop app. ‘Playables’ is an experimental feature that is rolling out on Android, iOS, and the web for Premium users. Those who opt in will be able to play a total of 37 mini-games that live inside YouTube — there’s no need to download or install them.

The titles include 8 Ball Billiards Classic, Angry Birds Showdown, Carrom Clash, and The Daily Crossword. Being an experimental feature, the games will be available until March 28. If the feature finds enough takers, the company can then decide whether to extend the availability of Playables or make it a permanent part of the platform. If not, Google might withdraw this feature. But YouTube’s Playables is not something serious gamers may look at.

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In 2021, Netflix added games to the platform to make it more attractive. It was first available only on Android and iOS but a couple of months ago, the company rolled it out for TVs and on the web.

YouTube joins several companies that are trying to expand into games. After years of supporting it, Google officially axed its Stadia service in January. A few weeks ago, Amazon cut over 130 jobs in its free games division and announced it would “refocus” its efforts. In 2021, TikTok teased a “major push” in gaming but the owner, ByteDance, announced recently that it would lay off around 1,000 workers in its gaming unit.Then there are success stories. Meta’s experiment with Instant Games has been roughly seven years in the making. Netflix, as we have mentioned, continues to release games.

Coming back to Playables, we are currently playing Basketball FRVR and 8 Ball Billiards Classic. The graphics are simple but it’s perfect for playing during office commute. To switch on the feature, visit the ‘You’ tab on the YouTube app and then select ‘Your Premium benefits’. Next, visit ‘Try experimental new features.’

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