SAN FRANCISCO, May 30 — Mobile video games are on a roll, and online video platforms are keen to get a slice of the action. YouTube, the online video giant, recently announced the arrival of more than 75 games to its app. Could it be a way to boost online engagement?

According to a YPulse survey, over 90% of teenagers aged 13 to 17 play video games at least once a week, whether on console, computer or mobile. This figure is slightly higher than that for adults aged 18 to 39, 86% of whom claim to play just as frequently. And it’s a trend that YouTube hopes to capitalise on with its “Playables,” a collection of free mobile games available directly via YouTube. The games in question can be accessed directly from the YouTube application, and require no additional download. More than 75 games will soon be available to all YouTube users, according to the platform’s blog.

Among the games on offer are popular titles such as Angry Birds Showdown, Words of Wonders, Cut the Rope, Tomb of the Mask and Trivia Crack.

Until now, access to these games was limited to a small number of users as part of a test phase. YouTube is now extending access to more users worldwide. Users can also discover new games by browsing the dedicated section in the application.

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Players will be able to save their scores and track their progress in the games, in the same way as on a traditional console. This could be a way of building user loyalty and boosting engagement on the platform at a time when social media giants are vying for users’ attention. Indeed, US TV viewers watched more YouTube than Netflix in April 2024, according to Nielsen research.

YouTube’s initiative is part of a wider trend in the video game industry to make games more accessible and appealing to a wider audience. Mobile gaming, in particular, has seen rapid growth in recent years, with titles such as Fortnite or Uncharted managing to attract millions of players worldwide. So much so that Hollywood is now turning its attention to video games and away from comic books. — ETX Studio