Following the unsuccessful venture of the Stadia streaming platform, Google is making another attempt in the gaming industry by introducing a feature known as “Playables” on YouTube. As the name suggests, this feature enables users to play games directly on YouTube’s platform.

Google’s Playables: What Are They?

Google’s Playables initiative allows users to engage with online games via YouTube’s desktop website, and iOS, and Android apps. The integration of games into a video streaming platform is a unique move and can be a game-changer for the tech giant.

  • Playables will appear as a distinct section on YouTube alongside other content in the home feed.
  • Currently, the feature is under testing with access granted to a limited number of users.
  • No official game list for the initial testing phase has been released by Google. However, sources hint at the inclusion of the casual arcade game “Stack Bounce.”

The Market Google is Targeting

Stack Bounce is an intriguing choice for an initial offering. This game challenges players to smash horizontally stacked bricks using a ball, indicating Google’s potential target market. Such casual games are immensely popular among diverse age groups and can provide Google with a massive user base to test the feature’s viability and user engagement. Google’s selection of Stack Bounce as a potential game for its Playables section can be seen as an attempt to attract users who prefer short, engaging games they can play during short breaks.

Google’s Gaming Journey

Google’s foray into the gaming industry has been filled with ups and downs. Their Stadia cloud gaming service, despite the hype, failed to gain traction and was eventually shut down. However, Google’s integration of games into YouTube demonstrates the company’s persistent interest in the gaming world. Notably, a spokesperson from Google mentioned that gaming has long been a focal point at YouTube, emphasizing the platform’s commitment to expanding its gaming horizons.

A Dive into YouTube’s New Features

Besides Playables, YouTube recently introduced a ‘Test and Compare’ feature, which focuses on improving video thumbnails. The renowned YouTuber, Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, shared insights on this feature, revealing its capability to test multiple thumbnail variations. By analyzing audience responses to different thumbnails, content creators can select the most effective one.

  • MrBeast’s experiment with this feature yielded surprising results. Contrary to the popular “shock mode” thumbnail trend, thumbnails with his mouth closed received better audience engagement.
  • This outcome has the potential to influence the thumbnail meta, encouraging content creators to move away from the typical surprised expressions.

Industry Responses and Speculations

Several industry experts have weighed in on Google’s latest gaming move. Former PlayStation boss, Shawn Layden, mentioned in a recent Investment Summit that Google could be among the potential disruptors in the gaming world. This sentiment reinforces the idea that even though some of Google’s endeavors might not have the desired outcome initially, the company’s vast resources and persistent approach make it a force to be reckoned with.


Google’s re-entry into the gaming sector, coupled with YouTube’s evolving features, showcases the tech giant’s adaptability and continuous strive for innovation. While the future of the Playables section remains uncertain, it’s evident that Google is unafraid to experiment and adapt based on previous experiences and current market trends. With this move, YouTube not only enhances its content variety but also potentially opens up new avenues for content creators and game developers alike. Only time will tell if this venture proves successful.

One of the most prominent discussions in the digital realm is how companies, particularly those as influential as Google, iterate on their strategies based on both successes and failures. While the journey of Stadia is often referenced as a lesson in over-promising and under-delivering, it can also be viewed as a testament to Google’s willingness to explore uncharted territories. This spirit of innovation is evident in the company’s latest venture, Playables.

For more information on Google’s Playables and other YouTube experiments, visit 9to5Google.

Ryan is our go-to guy for all things tech and cars. He loves bringing people together and has a knack for telling engaging stories. His writing has made him popular and gained him a loyal fanbase. Ryan is great at paying attention to small details and telling stories in a way that's exciting and full of wonder. His writing continues to be a vital part of our tech site.

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