YouTube rolls out its new Playables games to all users

YouTube expands its Playables games to all users, offering over 75 games.

: YouTube has launched its Playables gaming initiative to all users, previously exclusive to YouTube Premium subscribers. The platform features over 75 games, ranging from chess and crosswords to popular mobile games like Angry Birds Showdown!. The initiative joins other tech companies in adding games to attract or retain users.

YouTube has recently expanded its gaming segment by rolling out Playables, a collection of games, to all users across both mobile and desktop platforms. Initially exclusive to YouTube Premium members, Playables now offers a wide range of over 75 games which include traditional puzzles like chess and crossword puzzles, and popular casual mobile games such as Angry Birds Showdown!, Trivia Crack, and Cut the Rope. This move comes as part of a broader approach by various technology firms to incorporate gaming into their services as a means to enhance user engagement and retention.

The Playables program was first introduced last year as a limited offering for Premium subscribers, featuring a smaller number of games. With the new rollout, users can easily access games through YouTube’s sidebar on its website or apps, and can also save their progress and track high scores. This seamless integration marks YouTube's deeper entry into the gaming industry, following the footsteps of companies like LinkedIn, The New York Times, and Netflix, which have also integrated games into their regular offerings in recent times.

While YouTube, under Google’s umbrella, ventures into gaming, it recalls Google's previous attempt with Google Stadia, a cloud gaming service launched in 2019. Stadia was discontinued in 2023 after a little over three years due to underperformance. YouTube’s new gaming initiative indicates a shift towards more accessible and casual gaming content, likely aiming to avoid the complexities that hindered Stadia's success. This strategy may help YouTube leverage its massive user base and enhance platform stickiness by diversifying the content beyond traditional video streaming.