YouTube is expanding its games ambition by rolling out access to a set of online games for Premium users after first testing them with select users back in September. The Google-owned company has started notifying Premium users that they can start trying out more than 30 mini-games.
Users can play the games instantly and don't have to download anything. The games can be played on Android, iOS and desktop.
To get started, users can find a “Playables” shelf by scrolling on Home or through a “Playables” link in the Explore menu on desktop and mobile. The selection of games includes titles like Daily Solitaire, The Daily Crossword, Angry Birds Showdown, Merge Pirates, Farm Land, Words of Wonder, Endless Siege, 8 Ball Billiards Classic and Brain Out.
The games may not always be available, as YouTube notes that the games are playable until March 28. YouTube often tests some new features with Premium users before deciding to release them widely. Or, YouTube may be giving Premium users access to the games to soften the blow of its recently increased subscription fee to $13.99.
YouTube is one of many non-gaming platforms that have delved into the world of gaming. Netflix has spent the past two years building out its gaming catalogue, which now has more than 70 titles. The streaming giant is also working on expanding into cloud gaming. Meanwhile, TikTok has been testing HTML5 mini-games with a handful of partners, including game developers Vodoo, Nitro Games, FRVR, Aim Lab and Lotum. However, TikTok parent company ByteDance’s gaming ambitions have drastically slowed down, as the company has begun mass layoffs in its gaming departments.
Games aren't the only new thing that Premium users are getting access to, as YouTube recently started to experiment with new generative AI features, including an AI conversational tool that answers questions about YouTube’s content, along with a new feature that summarizes topics in the comments of a video.
Also earlier this month, YouTube launched more features for Premium users. The company expanded its enhanced bitrate version of 1080p HD to more devices, expanded the ability to continue watching YouTube across different devices to smart TVs and tablets, rolled out badges that showcase achievements and launched new offers on the Premium benefits page.