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Google Stadia lets streamers play games with their viewers

Viewers can jump in a lobby and wait alongside others to play

Google Stadia - Crowd Play screenshot gdc 2019 Google
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

At this year’s Game Developers Conference on Tuesday, Google announced Stadia, a new platform designed to stream games. As part of Stadia, Google revealed a YouTube feature called Crowd Play. Head of gaming at YouTube Ryan Wyatt showed off the feature, which’ll allow viewers to queue up and play with their favorite streamers.

Wyatt gave an example of viewers watching a streamer play NBA 2K. A new feature in the YouTube UI (pictured above) allows players to sign up and wait in line to play with the streamer. Acting as a new lobby, the line ticks down until it’s the viewer’s turn to start playing. They then play a match with or against the streamer they’re watching. When the match is over, another viewer gets the chance to play.

Google also brought out Matthew “MatPat” Patrick from the Game Theorists channel to explain how this new feature will impact his audience. Combined with the new State Share feature — which lets players share their game state with the world — viewers will have easy access to their favorite YouTube personalities. And YouTube streamers will be able to engage with their audience easier than before.

Google will release Stadia sometime in 2019.

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