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MGF 2012: The future is browsers but HTML5 is 18 months away from prime time reckons DChoc's Unsworth

#mgf2012 It's got to be open

Claiming it's one of the few members of '100 million' club of companies who have seen that number of gamers on web, Facebook and mobile, Robert Unsworth, VP, head of sales at Digital Chocolate pointed to the company's push on HTML5 and a browser-based gaming future.

"We've seen a convergence of mobile and PC. Social interaction happens throughout the day so you need access all the time," he explained.

"Social games require seamless interoperability between platforms and a continuous gaming experience."

This also links into other trends such as ease of discovery on web rather than through app stores, as well as rumbling that big cross-platform publishers are getting increasing annoyed about the 30 percent cut taken by vendors such as Google and Apple.

"They take 30 percent but we do all the marketing," Unsworth complained.

Seamless path

"Discovery is king so if you get a recommendation, you need to be able to get access to the game immediately," he explained.

"The industry will be moving away from downloads."

In this way, browser gaming will enable more focus on quality and user engagement and less time on platform development.

But HTML5 is creating issues at the moment.

"There are a lot of performance and quality issues across all devices, and we've seen large performance differences with HTML5 games depending on the browser," Unsworth revealed.

"And audio is a major problem. There's no point using HTML5 if you have to use Flash for the audio," he argued.

As for the current situation, Digital Chocolate is using what it calls a hybrid solution, mixing browsing gaming and native apps, which is built on a Flash-based development platform.

"We'll continue to experiment with HTML5 but we think it's about 18 months away from being a robust platform," Unsworth ended.