Google has revealed that it is preparing to retire the YouTube Gaming app, in favour of building a general gaming community across YouTube as a whole.
Making the announcement on its website, Google said: “We want to continue to build a stronger home for the gaming community that thrives on YouTube, not just the Gaming app. After May 2019, we’ll retire the app and focus our gaming efforts across YouTube.”
The brief announcement pointed to a new Gaming homepage on YouTube. In the page’s FAQs, it explained the move: “We launched YouTube Gaming as a standalone app for gamers where we tested out new features based on the Gaming community’s feedback. We want to continue to build a stronger home for the gaming community that thrives on YouTube, not just the Gaming app. More than 200M of you come to the main YouTube app to engage with your favorite games and creators every month.”
Under the heading: “What’s going to happen to all of the content I’ve saved or already watched?” Google said: “We recommend that you combine your YouTube and YT Gaming subscriptions from the YT Gaming settings. It’s not possible to transfer the games that you’ve saved in YT Gaming, but we’re exploring better ways to organise your game interests on YouTube.”
In a blog post, Google further explained its reasoning behind the shelving of the app: “We have a strong and vibrant audience on the app, but the amount of gamers we are able to reach is far bigger on YouTube. After all, YouTube is where more than 200 million gamers come to engage with their favourite games and creators every day, watching over 50 billion hours of gaming content in the last 12 months alone.”
So far, Google hasn’t given a precise date for when the app will disappear: on the Google Support entry, it says: “We’re aiming to retire the app in the first half of 2019,” and its reference to: “After May 2019,” suggests its demise is imminent.