In brief: YouTube Gaming, the standalone app dedicated to gaming content, is being killed off in spring next year. The majority of its features, however, will continue through a new page on the main YouTube site.
Appearing in YouTube's left navigation bar, YouTube.com/gaming is the site's revamped gaming hub that will highlight personalized content at the top of the page. There’s a carousel of top live games along with new and upcoming live streams from subscribed channels, as well as trending videos and recommended videos based on your subscriptions and history.
There are also Game Pages, letting users view content from across YouTube related to a specific title. This includes live streams along with other games from the same publisher or developer. You can subscribe to individual Game Pages, letting you keep up to date with all the latest videos covering your favorite titles.
The YouTube Gaming app launched back in August 2015 as a competitor for industry leader Twitch. It included many of the Amazon-owned site’s features, such as Game Pages and Channel Memberships, but while gaming was and is one of the most viewed topics on YouTube—over 200 million people watch related content every day—that popularity wasn’t mirrored in the app. 11 million people installed YouTube Gaming across iOS and Android, but daily users paled in comparison to those on Twitch’s app.
"...in 2015, we launched YouTube Gaming, a standalone app for gamers where we tested new features like Game Pages for better discoverability, Super Chat and Channel Memberships to help fans show support for their favorite creators, Dark Theme and even a new live streaming platform based on the gaming community’s feedback," said YouTube product director Christina Chen.
“The response to these features has been so positive that we brought them over from the YouTube Gaming app to the main YouTube experience. We also 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.”
Some of the app’s features, including streaming gameplay live from your phone, aren’t available at the new destination, but the company will work on moving more elements across before the YouTube Gaming app is shuttered in March or April 2019.