Google Reportedly Testing Instantly Playable YouTube Games – Not Likely Cloud Gaming

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is currently testing ‘instantly playable’ online games for its YouTube video streaming platform.  It said that the games will be playable on YouTube, web browsers and on Android and iOS devices. 

In an email that was sent to employees, Google invited its workforce to test this new product which they are referring to as ‘Playables’. It is being reported that there is currently one title currently available to test, Stack Bounce, which is a challenging game where players must smash bricks with a ball.

Stack Bounce is an HTML5 game that is part of Google’s “GameSnacks” platform. While GameSnacks games run in your browser, they aren’t really “cloud” games. Both the compute (typically done with javascript) and rendering (done with WebGL) are performed locally on your own machine (as opposed to remotely on a cloud server). Such titles are more similar to classic Facebook games.

GamesSnacks titles are currently available across a number of Google products including Chrome, Android and Android Auto.

Google Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny the Development

Google has not confirmed or denied the existence of YouTube “Playables.” In a statement to the Wall Street Journal a spokesperson said:

“Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube,” 

“We’re always experimenting with new features, but have nothing to announce right now.”

It is also being reported, however, that “Playables” is a key part of YouTube CEO Meal Mohan’s push to find new areas of growth for the platform. Of course, we have also seen other streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon, make their own advances into the world of gaming. The former is reportedly looking at launching their own cloud gaming service in the future, and the latter already has an established service with Amazon Luna. 

Google, of course, did have a bonafide cloud gaming platform of its own. They launched Google Stadia in November of 2019. Unfortunately, the service did not gain the traction that Google expected and they subsequently closed down Google Stadia in January 2023. Google Stadia also featured a ‘click to play’ feature that was integrated with YouTube and allowed Stadia users to click a link on a YouTube video and instantly play supported titles. 

At this point, there is no confirmation that “Playables” will utilise any form of cloud gaming technology. And, given the initial leaked game, that seems unlikely during the initial phase, at least.


Lee Reid

Scottish video game enthusiast who is very passionate and a big believer in cloud gaming. Also loves to chat about video games.

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