Are we Witnessing the Renaissance of Browser-based Gaming?

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web browsers” (CC BY 2.0) by Sean MacEntee

“Adapt or die” seems to be the general trend in the computer gaming industry and fortunately for browser-based gaming, it appears to have successfully adapted. The always-on nature of today’s connected world has meant the online gaming marketplace has enjoyed immense growth in recent years. Recent research by Newzoo forecast the global gaming industry to be worth almost $100bn in 2016, reaching up to $118.6bn by 2019.

However, in order to maintain a respectable slice of the gaming industry pie, online browser-based games have had to evolve considerably in recent times.

Browser gaming was all of the rage in the late 1990s and early 2000s, underpinned by Adobe Flash and its ActionScript technology. Sites such as Kongregate Miniclip and Newgrounds soon sprung up, resulting in communities of amateur gaming developers creating casual online games for users to play for free through their desktop or laptop web browsers.

However, the creation of the iPhone in 2007 changed the face of online gaming forever. Casual gamers would eventually seek gaming titles that could be played via their smartphones rather than their desktop computers. Subsequently, many software developers began to shun Flash in favour of HTML5 – technology which would enable games to offer a fluid and engaging native experience on any type of device, handheld or otherwise.

In addition to that, gamers also began to prefer the ability to physically download their games onto their desktop, laptop and tablet devices, giving them the ability to play natively whenever they wished. However, the 24/7 nature of connectivity today means that there is never a need to have to play offline, rendering many downloadable games defunct; especially when you acknowledge the huge strides browser-based games have made in terms of cross-platform 3D graphics and high-definition audio.

MMORGs are one of the main reasons for the renaissance of browser-based gaming, with gamers enchanted by the ability to play with hundreds – sometimes thousands – of different gamers from around the world simultaneously in the same open world. Many of these games enable gamers to cooperate with one another as well as compete against each other, feeding their competitive nature. Some of the most popular MMORGs today include the turn-based League of Angels 2, SAO’s Legend and Naruto Online.

Browser-based gaming in Online Casinos

Another sector that can be attributed to breathing new life into browser-based gaming is the  iGaming  industry. The online casinos have more than doubled their revenue since 2009 and are increasingly offering HTML5-powered casino games such as online roulette and blackjack available via browsers on any device. HTML5 has also helped Canada’s leading online roulette sites to develop live casino games where real money players can interact with live dealers and other players at the table


Roulette wheel” (CC BY 2.0) by Håkan Dahlström

As we’ve already mentioned, cross-platform 3D graphics have been an important development for browser games, which have also helped transform the engagement of online slot games by pioneering iGaming developers such as Microgaming and Playtech. High-definition audio and visuals are now available with HTML5 without the need for browser plugins.

With so many fantastic MMOs being released and worked upon as we speak, it’s a delight to be able to confirm the revitalization of browser-based gaming action.

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