The Wall Street Journal has reported that Google is testing a new feature for its enormous YouTube video platform that would allow users to instantly play online games directly through the YouTube web page/app on their phones or computers.
Dubbed Playables, the new feature has been revealed via an internal email viewed by Wall Street Journal that calls for Google employees to help test the product. The games in testing seem to be basic, arcade-style stuff that you’d associate with the heyday of Facebook games like Bejeweled Blitz and Angry Birds Friends, with at least one game cited being a brick-breaking title called Stack Bounce.
While it’s clear that testing is underway, Google reportedly had nothing to confirm to the WSJ, saying in a statement, “Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube. “We’re always experimenting with new features, but have nothing to announce right now.”
YouTube is internally testing a product for playing online games, signaling ambitions to move beyond video hosting into games that can easily be played and shared between users https://t.co/BxQMMtxyE8
After it shut down its struggling Stadia game streaming service for good early this year, Google will have naturally been looking for ways to integrate the technologies developed for Stadia into its other product offerings. One future-looking opportunity would be to allow YouTube viewers to instantly jump into games being featured in trailer videos or advertisements on YouTube, or being played by their favourite content creators, without leaving the page, so whatever the current scope is for Playables it might be the first step towards that future.