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YouTube launching its own dedicated gaming app and website, YouTube Gaming

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

YouTube is getting more serious about gaming. This summer, the video streaming service will launch YouTube Gaming, a new app and website dedicated to video game content: Let's Plays, livestreams, speedruns and more.

"YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else," YouTube Gaming product manager Alan Joyce said in an announcement. "From 'Asteroids' to 'Zelda,' more than 25,000 games will each have their own page, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title. You'll also find channels from a wide array of game publishers and YouTube creators."

At an event from the company's LA studio today, YouTube's global head of gaming partnerships, Ryan Wyatt, talked about the growing importance of gaming for online video — particularly livestreamed video — but said that YouTube has "never really built gamers the experience they deserve."

YouTube Gaming, Wyatt said, has been "built from the ground up for gamers by gamers," promising that "no longer is gaming going to be lost in a sea of content."

YouTube Gaming

The YouTube Gaming app and website will let users subscribe to channels and be notified instantly of livestreams when they start. The service will also make recommendations based on a user's subscribed channels. YouTube Gaming puts game livestreams "front and center" in its apps, Joyce said, emphasizing its importance.

"And when you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing 'call' will show you Call of Duty and not 'Call Me Maybe,'" Joyce said.

YouTube Gaming also promises new features for livestreamers, making it so that streamers don't need to schedule their events ahead of time.

Product manager Barbara Macdonald showed off YouTube's improvements for livestreamers at today's event, walking attendees through the streamlined process that only requires a few clicks to set up. YouTube Gaming will let streamers enable DVR so viewers can rewind live broadcasts, and a new low latency streaming option will let streamers "really interact with [their] fans while gaming." Macdonald also promised improvements to chat moderation, something she'd said users had been requesting.

YouTube says it will launch YouTube Gaming in the U.S. and U.K. this summer.