YouTube said it was “fighting back” to get a piece of the gaming pie now dominated by Twitch and Dailymotion. Describing itself as the “go-to destination for anything and everything gaming,” fans can see who’s live streaming, start their own stream and note the most popular content for their favorite games, as the new site automatically categorizes and sorts all of YouTube’s gaming content.
YouTube Gaming will give Twitch.tv it biggest competition in the live streaming space and is available in any country where YouTube is available, while the Android phone and tablet app will only be available in the US and UK for now.
Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million last year and Emmett Shear, Twitch’s CEO, told the Telegraph at the time it chose Amazon “because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster.”
Gamers spend billions of hours monthly watching YouTube stars like Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie. “We wanted to create a one-stop shop for all gaming content,” said YouTube’s head of gaming Ryan Wyatt, as reported by the BBC. “At the moment there is a fragmented experience. People go to different places for live content, and YouTube for video on demand. We have amazing gamers who don’t live stream yet. Now they have that opportunity.”
— YouTube Gaming (@YouTubeGaming) August 24, 2015
In the US, more than 150 million people play games, and the average gamer age is 31, reports Big Fish Games. Some 29 percent of gamers are under 18, and about half are female. Estimates are that the mobile gaming industry reached $25 billion in sales in 2014, and that revenue from smartphone and tablet titles will reach $30.3 billion this year.
As two digital behemoths compete for the lion’s share of that pie, it’s clear: Game On!