Playing games on our devices, no matter if they are next-generation gaming consoles like the PlayStation 4 or smartphones, is a preferred pastime for most of us. When it comes to casual games, smartphones and tablet computers have become the devices preferred by most. At the same time, native mobile apps have become the form preferred by developers to release their games. This has left us with a poor variety of games we can play in our web browsers, even if we have the technology – HTML5 – to create them right. Browser-based games could – and should – be the future of casual gaming, for a number of reasons we’re going to take a look at below.
But first, an example
Not many gaming venues have implemented HTML5 gaming, and even those that have, have done so for a reason. Red Flush Canadian casino, a gaming venue visited by thousands each month, has chosen HTML5 as its mobile solution thanks to restrictions applied by Google’s app marketplace on real money gaming apps. Red Flush players usually live in countries where Android is the dominant smartphone platform, and with no native Red Flush app available, they needed a viable alternative. HTML5 has proven to be the right choice, offering the security, performance, and ease of access Red Flush players were looking for. The result: a completely cross-platform, secure, and safe mobile gaming web app, capable of handling payments, keeping player data safe, and offering a library of games that run on any device, no matter what operating system it runs.
Why game developers choose apps
I think you noticed, too, that even the simplest, most rudimentary games – think Tic Tac Toe and its likes – are usually only available as native apps on diverse mobile platforms. This means that the developers exclude anyone not willing to play them on a smartphone, as well as anyone who dares to use a device with an operating system different from what they have in mind. This means that – unless you go with often shady clones released by often shady developers – you won’t have the chance to play a game on any other device than the one it was released for.
The reason for developers choosing native as their platform of choice is money. Apps are easier to monetize than web apps, and their ads can’t be blocked, which means more money for the publisher. Besides, native apps make it easier to handle in-app purchases, one of the main sources of revenue for publishers. Thus, even games that don’t need to be released as native apps will be, taking up valuable space on a smartphone, and leaving non-smartphone players craving.
Why HTML5 should be the future of casual gaming
HTML5 should mean the future of casual gaming simply because it’s cross-platform. A game that runs in an HTML5 capable web browser will run on any device with one, including (but not limited to) that on the PS4, the Xbox One, the iPhone and all Android phones, even smart TVs. Thus, it can reach a massive audience, unrestricted by hardware and system limitations. It needs no plugins, no special software to be installed, it is a specification supported by the web browser itself, making it available to an incredibly wide variety of devices and operating systems. And availability is perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to services and games, at least from the users’ point of view, right?