YouTube takes on Twitch with gaming site

YouTube is launching a new app and website dedicated to video game-related content, in a move that will see it take on Amazon-owned gaming site Twitch.

YouTube Gaming will launch this summer in the UK and US, will feature game-related videos and live streams of users playing video games, and marks an attempt by YouTube to establish “the biggest community of gamers on the web”.

“YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favourite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else,” said YouTube in a blog announcing the launch.

“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.”

Users will be able to add games they are interested in to their collection to see the latest videos relating to that title, or subscribe to channels to get live gameplay alerts.

YouTube said live streams will be “front-and-centre” on the YouTube Gaming homepage and that it will launch an “improved live experience” in the coming weeks to make it simpler to broadcast gameplay to YouTube.

The gaming site launch comes after Amazon agreed to buy Twitch – a rival video platform and community for videogame enthusiasts – for US$970 million last August. Reports at the time indicated that Amazon clinched the deal over rival bidder YouTube, which was also said to have been prepared to spend close to US$1 billion on the site.

Games-related content already ranks among the most popular categories of videos on YouTube, with popular gamer PewDiePie alone accounting for 37.2 million subscribers and 9.12 billion video views to date.