Should you build your next mobile game with HTML5? This is the question facing thousands of mobile game developers and studios struggling with game discovery and monetization within the Apple app store and Google Play. Is now, finally, the time for HTML5?
HTML5 took quite a beating a few years back when Facebook dropped it and early studio adopters stumbled, but as a mobile game development platform, it has been quietly making a comeback.
To assess if HTML5 is right for your next mobile game, below is a list of important business and technical factors to consider:
Mobile Web, hybrid native, or some combination thereof? Most HTML5 game engines today are biased to a particular platform. There are some really slick engines from Goo Technologies and Turbulenz that leverage WebGL and offer 3D rendering, but produce games geared for desktops as opposed to mobile due to the size of the games they produce.
Then there are hybrid native technologies like Ludei, Apache Cordova and Intel’s XDK that wrap HTML5 games and accelerate performance for native for distribution within the native app stores, but do not extend performance benefits or distribution to the mobile Web.
Finally, there are mobile Web-optimized engines like TreSensa’s (my company) TGE, Phaser, Construct 2 and Kiwi.js that can produce games that work via the mobile browser and can be distributed on mobile game portals, media sites, social gaming platforms, native apps, and emerging carrier game stores. These mobile Web games can also run on desktop browsers and can be wrapped for native app stores.