Google will be sunsetting its separate YouTube Gaming app at the end of May.
All of YouTube's gaming content has been migrated back into the main platform, and all of its creators can still be found there.
The move comes as part of the company's plan to “build a stronger home for the gaming community that thrives on YouTube, not just the YouTube Gaming app".
YouTube Gaming launched in 2015 as a separate destination for gaming content specifically. It could be accessed via a web browser or through a specific YT Gaming app.
However, the segregation of gaming content presented issues with discoverability. Back in September, YouTube head of gaming Ryan Wyatt spoke to Polygon regarding the snags.
“The problem is, if you didn’t have the app, or you weren’t using the gaming hub to kind of like discover this content, creators weren’t as discoverable,” Wyatt said.
“So many of these users are just using YouTube and the regular YouTube experience. You’d have some people that funneled through into the gaming app, or the gaming destination, but we were finding we still weren’t touching many people daily.”
YouTube Gaming users won't need to do anything, but Google recommends merging subscriptions on YT Gaming with subscriptions on the main YouTube platform just to be sure.
As YouTube merged separate gaming content back into the main app, some creators experienced spikes in their viewership numbers.
YouTuber Hannah Rutherford noticed a rise in watch time since the changes, and an influx of likes and shares compared the amount she usually sees. While YouTube has not confirmed anything, it could be possible that viewers have returned now that gaming content has been reintroduced into YouTube's main feed.
Update on the spike in watch time since YouTube merged YouTube Gaming back into the main platform a week ago. Likes and shares (plus comments on videos) also suggest that there is indeed a 'new' set of viewers who are accessing the videos. Welcome back, folks. pic.twitter.com/EZtN7j2w8X— Hannah Rutherford (@lomadia) May 22, 2019
The YouTube Gaming mobile apps were pulled from the Google and Apple App Stores earlier this year. The web-based version's final day is May 30th.
Meanwhile, Google seems keen to head further into the gaming space following the announcement of cloud-powered streaming platform Stadia. While little information has been revealed, the initial unveiling at GDC saw Google promise new features and opportunities for YouTube creators.