Google will be pulling the plug on YouTube Gaming this month, on May 30. This includes both the YouTube Gaming app, as well as YouTube Gaming’s website. Google already pulled the app from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store earlier this year, but will only officially be retiring the app at the end of this month.
Why is this happening?
YouTube Gaming was initially launched in 2015 as a would-be competitor to Amazon-owned game streaming site Twitch. However, with a new section dedicated to gaming on YouTube that was introduced in 2018, it was almost inevitable that the gaming-based app would meet its end.
“The problem is, if you didn’t have the app, or if you weren’t using the gaming hub to kind of like discover this content, creators weren’t as discoverable,” Ryan Watt, head of gaming at YouTube, told Polygon during the new YouTube hub’s launch. “So many of these users are just using YouTube and the regular YouTube experience. You’d have some people that funneled through into the gaming app, or the gaming destination, but we were finding we still weren’t touching many people daily.”
In light of this, Google hopes to “build a stronger home for the gaming community that thrives on YouTube, not just the YouTube Gaming app” by retiring the app. After all, with the app gone, site traffic can be concentrated on the main YouTube app, as opposed to having it split between two apps.
Will I lose the content I saved via YouTube Gaming’s app?
Users of YouTube Gaming need not worry about losing their favourite gaming videos. All gaming content will still be accessible through the main YouTube app! Despite this, Google recommends users who have saved content on the app to merge their subscriptions with the main YouTube app.
This is probably a safety measure, to ensure that these users don’t lose track of the content they had saved. While the videos won’t disappear off YouTube, it’s unlikely that users’ saved videos and subscriptions will automatically carry over to the main YouTube app once YouTube Gaming is gone. Better get to saving your videos, if you haven’t already!