Google is reportedly considering online games as a potential revenue source for YouTube, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The video hosting platform has invited employees to test a new product called Playables, which allows users to access online games directly on YouTube. According to an internal email seen by the Journal, the games are accessible on both mobile and desktop devices. Users can play these games on the YouTube website using a web browser or through the app on Android or iOS phones.
While the report suggests that there are multiple games available for testing, it specifically mentions Stack Bounce, an ad-supported arcade game where players break layers of bricks with a bouncing ball. YouTube already earns money from gaming livestreams, but Playables offers another avenue for revenue generation in the face of declining advertising spending.
Unlike Google’s unsuccessful Stadia games streaming service, Playables has the advantage of YouTube’s large and regular user base, making it easier to attract attention to the new product. Playables is similar to Netflix’s gaming product, which provides paying users with access to casual games on mobile devices. Netflix is also expanding its gaming initiative by testing TV games that use phones as controllers.
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