YouTube Gaming was a separate YouTube app aimed at gamers and creators of game-related content. Users could find information on different games, watch gamers stream their sessions live, or enjoy esports recordings.
The app also had popular features such as the Super Chat, dedicated Game Pages, and even Channel Membership.
YouTube Gaming launched in 2015 and the main goal was to provide gamers with relevant content without having non-game-related videos standing in the way. The app also offered the right environment for YouTube to test new features, such as the Dark Mode and Channel Membership, before integrating them into the main site.
However, usage data showed that YouTube Gaming wasn’t popular enough. Out of the 11 million people that have downloaded the app on iOS and Android, and the more than 200 million watching gaming videos daily, only a small number used the app to do so. Most preferred the main YouTube app or the site.
That is why in September 2018, YouTube announced they were discontinuing the app. In its place, they were releasing a new Gaming vertical on their main site that was going to have all the fun app features and more. For example, they added a place for Gaming Creator on the Rise, where new creators had the chance to find a greater audience in the initial stages of their channels.
It took YouTube some time to solve how to introduce the live-streaming phone feature to the main app. That is why it took them till May 30, 2019, to shut down the service. Unfortunately, users didn’t have the option to transfer saved games to the main app.