YouTube to launch app, site ded­i­cated to gam­ing

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY DER­RIK J. LANG

YouTube is seek­ing to win over gamers.

The on­line video gi­ant an­nounced plans ahead of next week’s Elec­tronic En­ter­tain­ment Expo to launch a sep­a­rate app and site specif­i­cally for fans of video games.

Ryan Wy­att, YouTube’s global head of gam­ing con­tent, un­veiled YouTube Gam­ing dur­ing an event Fri­day at YouTube Space LA, one of the site’s pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties. He said YouTube Gam­ing will be a des­ti­na­tion for users to find gam­ing videos, live streams and In­ter­net per­son­al­i­ties.

“De­spite the crazy us­age that gam­ing drives on YouTube, we’ve never re­ally built gamers the ex­pe­ri­ence that they de­serve,” said Wy­att. “That’s some­thing that changes to­day.”

The app and site, which is sched­uled to de­but in the U.S. and UK later this sum­mer, will fea­ture in­di­vid­ual pages ded­i­cated to more than 25,000 games.

YouTube prod­uct designer Jonathan Ter­leski demon­strated that if a user be­gan search­ing for the word “call” on the YouTube Gam­ing app, the mil­i­tary shooter “Call of Duty,” not the Carly Rae Jepsen tune “Call Me Maybe” would ap­pear first.

YouTube is also seek­ing to make it eas­ier for users to broad­cast live and com­pet­i­tive gam­ing, known as e-sports, by cre­at­ing sin­gu­lar links that can be shared, re­mov­ing the need to sched­ule a broad­cast and pro­mot­ing live broad­casts.

“YouTube Gam­ing is built from the ground up for gamers, by gamers,” said Wy­att. “No longer is gam­ing go­ing to be lost in a sea of con­tent. We’re un­leash­ing a brand-new user ex­pe­ri­ence that puts games front and cen­ter. That in­cludes live gam­ing, as well.”

The move by Google- owned YouTube takes di­rect aim at Twitch, the gam­ing- cen­tric stream­ing video site ac­quired by Ama­zon last year for nearly US$1 bil­lion. While YouTube re­mains the dom­i­nant on­line video site, Twitch has so­lid­i­fied it­self over the past three years as a des­ti­na­tion to stream game­play from such ti­tles as “League of Leg­ends” and “Counter-Strike: Global Of­fen­sive.” Twitch now boasts 100 mil­lion users who watch 1.5 mil­lion broad­cast­ers a month.

“We wel­come new en­trants into the grow­ing list of com­peti­tors,” said Matthew DiPi­etro, Twitch’s vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, in a state­ment. “Gam­ing video is ob­vi­ously a huge mar­ket that oth­ers have their eye on. It in­spires us to work even harder to make the com­mu­nity proud.”

YouTube Gam­ing will be pre­viewed at YouTube’s booth on the E3 show floor be­gin­ning Tues­day.

The an­nounce­ment of YouTube’s re­newed fo­cus on gam­ing once again sig­nals the im­por­tance of on­line video on the eve of E3, the gam­ing in­dus­try’s an­nual trade show. While the in­ter­ac­tive ex­trav­a­ganza is no longer broad­cast live on TV ca­ble chan­nels such as Spike and G4, the sur­prise-laced press con­fer­ences and flashy game demon­stra­tions at­tract mil­lions of view­ers on YouTube, Twitch and other on­line stream­ing ser­vices.

“The way you reach a gamer to­day is very dif­fer­ent than the way you would 20 or even 10 years ago,” said Michael Gal­lagher, pres­i­dent of the Elec­tronic Soft­ware As­so­ci­a­tion, which or­ga­nizes E3.

“It’s more di­rect. The con­sumers want the ex­pe­ri­ence of video game de­buts through the eyes and voices of true gamers,” Gal­lagher con­tin­ued. “Now, those true gamers who can speak with en­thu­si­asm about a new ‘Fall­out’ or ‘Call of Duty’ are able to do it live and in per­son through stream­ing tech­nol­ogy. It’s an­other ex­am­ple how the in­dus­try has ma­tured and grown be­yond tra­di­tional forms of me­dia.”

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