YouTube Gaming: Twitch Clone or Not?

Back in the day, before Twitch launched in June of 2011, gamers who wanted to perhaps preview a game, see some play footage or simply liked to watch someone else play went to YouTube to get their voyeuristic gaming fix.  Gamers like PewDeePie, Markiplier and Cry flourished while also giving both YouTube and smaller, indie developer games a much larger platform and stage.

Differences?

youtubegame2YouTube Gaming is a standalone service, not something that will run through normal YouTube.  There will be pages with categorized dedications via content, and users can follow the page or a poster that they like in particular and be notified when they release new content based on set preferences.

They have also removed some of the restrictions, such as no longer requiring a posted to pre-schedule a live-stream and each user having a consistent live-stream link, negating the need for a new link every time you stream something.

“YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else.  From ‘Asteroids’ to ‘Zelda,’ more than 25,000 games will each have their own page, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title. You’ll also find channels from a wide array of game publishers and YouTube creators.”
YouTube Gaming product manager Alan Joyce

In a burst of what looks to be brilliance, YouTube gaming will also feature a DVR-like option, allowing watchers of a live stream who perhaps missed something or need to take a bio break to pause and rewind the live streams.  There will also be a low latency option for broadcasters, allowing for more real-time interaction between those watching the live streams and those playing the games.

Saw It Coming

So here is why those who follow the gaming industry figured something like this was coming….

If you look back in your gaming feed about a year, to July 2014, you’ll remember that Google (which owns YouTube) was ready to buy Twitch.  According to industry insiders,youtubegame the deal was signed, sealed and delivered.  And then Amazon swooped in and snatched Twitch out from under them.  How?  Hesitation seemed to be the main speculation, with media reporting that regulators were ready and willing to challenge the deal based on the US’s anti-trust laws.  Google already demonstrated a desire to be more involved in the whole live-streaming, gaming market by brokering the failed deal in the first place.  The fact that the deal fell through told some that something like this was coming.  There was an alternate method of having everything centralized and easy to navigate, and Google was going to get it done.  Fast forward to June 2015, and here we are: YouTube Gaming.

The hope for this venture is that by isolating all gamer content in one place, it will make it easier for watchers to find what they want.  Typing something in the search field will give you only gaming results, as opposed to everything that has ever been posted with that particular word in the tile.  For those who are interested, you can visit the YouTube Gaming launch page, where you can sign up and be notified when the service actually launches.  The page currently shows simply Summer 2015.

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