YouTube Gaming will reach its unfortunate demise on May 30, Google has announced. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, though — the company first revealed in September that, after introducing the client's core features in the standard YouTube application, it would kill off the YouTube Gaming application.
The move has come a little later than expected, however. Google first said that YouTube Gaming would be suspended in March. For some reason, it failed to meet its self-imposed deadline and as a result the application is still available to download and use to this day. But that will change on May 30, when it's discontinued.
As it stands, the bulk of YouTube Gaming's client can be accessed through YouTube itself. Google has noted that the rest will be ported over after YouTube Gaming is axed. There is a caveat, though: Content that's been saved or viewed through YouTube Gaming will not be moved over to the universal YouTube client.
"We want to continue to build a stronger home for the gaming community that thrives on YouTube, not just the YouTube Gaming application," explained Google in a blog post on its YouTube Gaming Help forum. "After May 2019, we’ll retire the YouTube Gaming app and focus our gaming efforts across YouTube," it added.
From June, YouTube Gaming will vanish from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and those attempting to visit the dedicated website will be redirected to the Gaming section of YouTube. It is believed, on the other hand, that those with the application installed on their device will be able to use it for the foreseeable.
In fact, some have speculated that YouTube Gaming will act as a shortcut to the Gaming segment of the YouTube application; while others believe that the application will continue to function like normal, serving up content just like it would before it was discontinued, until an update is installed to decommission it.
If that's true, those wanting to continue to use YouTube Gaming will need to disable the Play Store's auto-update feature. They'll also need to refrain from resetting their device, as once the client has disappeared or been updated to a later version, it should (in theory) vanish from the Play Store and stop working altogether.
Then again, Google, being the wizard it is, could have opted for a more stringent decommission and could force all active installations null and void right off the bat, which would mean that the YouTube Gaming application would be nothing short of a virtual paperweight, so there would be no real reason to keep it around.
Whatever the case, it's always sad to see a service turn to dust -- especially a popular one. That said, we should note that's not exactly what's happening here. Google is just unifying the YouTube experience to put it in a better position to compete with the likes of Twitch, which serves mainstream and niche content in one central location.
So, to recap: The YouTube Gaming application will be discontinued on May 30, when it will take up its new home in the standard YouTube client.