Goodbye Stadia, hello Playables: Google is experimenting with a new online games service

Stack Bounce screenshot

A new report claims that Google is internally testing a concept called Playables, which lets you stream games via YouTube.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Google is testing out a new system for letting users play online games via YouTube.

The service is called Playables, and it’s only being tested internally at the moment. Apparently it will allow users to play games via YouTube via its mobile app or on a website.

Just one title is available at the moment: Stack Bounce, a simple one-button game where you have to use a bouncing ball to smash through coloured blocks below you, while avoiding any black blocks. It’s been out for a while now, and you can play it via your browser here.

It’s not confirmed whether Playables is based on the tech for Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming service which launched with much fanfare in 2019, only to be closed down in January this year after failing to find a big enough user base.

Part of the original pitch for Stadia was that it would integrate seamlessly with YouTube, allowing users to watch a trailer or gameplay footage and then instantly start playing the game themselves. This never quite came to fruition, although Stadia did introduce a Crowd Play option, where Stadia users could join a game run by a YouTube streamer if they had Crowd Play turned on.

There’s no indication of when Playables might be made available to the public. But if it ever does launch officially, Google might run into problems with the name, seeing as Playables is already the name of the publisher behind the cult mobile hit Kids.

Read more: Stadia | Why its failure had a bigger impact on gamers than you think


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