LOS ANGELES – YouTube is seeking to win over gamers. The online video service announced plans Friday to launch a separate app and site specifically for fans of video games.
YouTube Gaming will feature pages dedicated to more than 25,000 games. The site will also seek to make it easier for users to broadcast live gameplay to YouTube by eliminating the need to schedule a live broadcast and creating singular links that can be shared.
Joyce noted that if a user began searching for the word “call” on the YouTube Gaming app, the military shooter “Call of Duty,” not the Carly Rae Jepsen tune “Call Me Maybe” would appear first.
“When I look at where YouTube is weaker in the gaming content space, I think live and e-sports,” said Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s global head of gaming content, in an interview last month.
“In the coming weeks, you’re going to see us make improvements to our live product, and we do want to invest in e-sports from a content perspective. In some ways, it’s still nascent, but there is something to say about the future of e-sports, and we definitely want to be part of it.”
The move by YouTube takes direct aim at Twitch. The gaming-centric video site was acquired by Amazon last year for nearly $1 billion and now boasts 100 million users who watch 1.5 million broadcasters a month.
While YouTube remains the dominant online video site, Twitch has solidified itself over the past three years as a destination to stream gameplay from such titles as “League of Legends” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
YouTube Gaming is scheduled to debut this summer in the U.S. and U.K. The tech giant has not announced when the service will be available in Canada. It will be available on the web and mobile devices running both Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS.
YouTube also has a special site running dedicated to coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, which kicks off Monday in Los Angeles. The site allows users to vote for their favourite game trailers and watch press conference’s.
– With files from Global News tech reporter Nicole Bogart