YouTube dips its toe into gaming with experimental Playables

YouTube is dipping it toe into gaming with a new experimental Playables offering.

As we reported back in early September, the Google-owned video giant has been testing a feature called Playables, which offers simple casual games that can be played directly in the YouTube app or web page.

Now that Playables feature is available to try out for all YouTube Premium subscribers. Said subscribers should have received a notification about the gaming offering, but if not, simply head into the YouTube app, tap your profile image, followed by Your Premium benefits, then Try experimental new features.

Scroll down, and you should see that ‘Play games on YouTube’ is now available. Tap the Try it out button, then head back to the Home tab.

YouTube Playables screenshot crop

When you scroll down, you should now see a Playables on YouTube section, which lets you play 37 simple games right there in the app. These appear to be the very definition of the term ‘casual time waster’, with simple graphics and gameplay. I had a quick blast on Angry Birds Showdown, which (after a brief loading screen) was a stripped-back, windowed take on the familiar avian flinger.

More interesting than the actual games at this point is what they signify. It’s clear that YouTube is looking emulate Netflix and get into gaming as a side hustle to its main video business.

YouTube’s Playables test feature will only be available until March 28, according to the experimental feature entry, so it’s clearly not ready for prime time just yet.