Google recently discussed the popularity of YouTube Gaming, a video service dedicated to delivering gaming content. Despite having a considerable amount of following, Google has announced that it will discontinue YouTube Gaming and will merge most of its dedicated features with the main YouTube site and app.

“We have a strong and vibrant audience on the YouTube Gaming app, but the amount of gamers we are able to reach is far bigger on YouTube. After all, YouTube is where more than 200 million gamers come to engage with your favorite games and creators every day, watching over 50 billion hours of gaming content in the last 12 months alone,” Google said on its blog. “That’s why, in March 2019, we’ll retire the YouTube Gaming app and focus all of our gaming efforts on YouTube where we can reach our entire gaming community.”

With the upcoming shutdown of the standalone YouTube Gaming service, Google has now set up a dedicated section for gaming on the main YouTube service. The page is now accessible at youtube.com/gaming. The new gaming destination on the main YouTube site and app will come with some of the features that were once exclusive to YouTube Gaming.

At the the very top of the new gaming page, users will see a personalized list of content based on what gaming content they typically watch on YouTube. Just below that are the top live games and the latest gaming videos from the user’s subscriptions.

There are also pages that feature content from specific games. For example, going to the “Fortnite” section of the new YouTube gaming page will bring up popular videos and live streams featuring that game. The game’s page will also show other titles from the same publisher or developer. YouTube will also highlight up and coming creators to help them grow on the new gaming destination.

“We want to do more to help our smaller creators grow on YouTube too, so we’ll be highlighting gaming creators who are ‘On The Rise’ on the Gaming destination and in Trending,” Google stated. “Each week we’ll showcase a new up and coming gaming creator to help more fans discover their content. This is launching in the U.S., and we’ll continue to roll this out to more countries in the future.”

YouTube Gaming may have been an easy way for gamers to watch content that’s relevant to them, but majority of users aren’t really using it. Discontinuing the dedicated service will make sure that all users are able to take advantage of YouTube’s new tools and avoid confusion among people who didn’t really understand what YouTube Gaming was for.

“When we launched the YouTube gaming app, I think there was a lot of brand confusion in the market of like, ‘Well, is this just a live gaming app and experience? What’s gonna happen to gaming on YouTube versus YouTube gaming app?’” YouTube director of gaming content and partnership Ryan Wyatt told The Verge.

“And so we’re hoping that this time around, with us moving it to YouTube [proper], it’s a clear signal to the community that we care very much about gaming, that we want gaming on YouTube ... to continue to thrive and be a big part. I think we had a big misstep and confusion there.”

YouTube Google will discontinue YouTube Gaming on March 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic