YouTube launches video game streaming service to challenge Twitch

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015

YouTube is set to launch its dedicated gaming website, attempting to capitalise on huge demand for video game streaming and challenge Twitch, the service it tried to buy before losing out to Amazon last year.

The new site, is expected to go live on Wednesday evening, having been announced in June before the E3 gaming conference.

Gaming is already one of the most popular video categories on YouTube, with many of the service's top channels focused on games. However, it is facing growing competition from Twitch, a dedicated games site that Amazon paid $970m (£623m) for last year.

Google had attempted to acquire Twitch, but Emmett Shear, Twitch's chief executive, said at the time that it had chosen Amazon "because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster".

YouTube's new website will pull in many of the gaming videos already on its main service. It will also make it easier to find videos and stream gameplay, with individual pages for more than 25,000 games. YouTube has promised the service will be "the biggest community of gamers on the web".

As well as a web service, YouTube Gaming is set to have Android and iOS apps. It is reportedly going live at 6pm on Wednesday evening in the UK and US. Video game streaming is growing at a rapid pace, and Twitch is America's 4th-most popular website when measured by peak internet traffic.