Google has officially announced its plan to take on former acquisition target Twitch in the lucrative game streaming market, with YouTube Gaming launching as a distinct product.
Google was reported to be sniffing around Twitch
, the hugely successful game streaming site, back in July last year but its interest came to naught. In August last year
it was Amazon, not Google, which announced the acquisition of Twitch in a deal valued at $970 million, Google having reportedly got cold feet over concerns that a combined YouTube-Twitch streaming service would raise the ire of anti-monopolists.
That wasn't the end of Google's interest in the market, of course, and now its plans bear fruit: YouTube Gaming launches today as a sub-brand of the advertising giant's popular video streaming platform, and one which will be given its own unique identity. YouTube Gaming, the company has confirmed, will be available as a dedicated web service tailored to the needs of live streamers currently using Twitch, and will be joined by dedicated mobile apps for Android and iOS. The service will also offer viewers quick access to live and pre-recorded streams, pulling in content from YouTube's thousands of existing gaming channels.
YouTube Gaming has been running as a closed beta for the last month, and is to open to the UK and US public later today via the official website