Home Mozilla Takes Aim at Flash-based Casual Games

Mozilla Takes Aim at Flash-based Casual Games

Mozilla, home of the popular Firefox browser, has announced a new effort to challenge the dominance of Adobe Flash in the casual gaming market. Called Game On 2010, the effort is an international competition that will highlight “games built, delivered and played on the open Web and the browser.” The crux of the issue is no Flash allowed.

Critics of Flash argue that it’s subject to too much proprietary control and is too inefficient in its use of system resources. Fans of the format point out that a huge proportion of online video and casual gaming goes on in Flash. Is a browser without Flash support (like Safari in iOS) a broken browser? Contests like Game On 2010 aim to prove that browsers can do incredible things without Adobe. We’ll see.

“All games must be built using open Web technologies,” the official rules of the contest state. “This includes but is not limited to HTML, CSS, JavaScript as well as server-side code such as PHP, Python, Ruby or Java. You can use libraries (no worries, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel). No browser plug-ins are allowed (and we’re strict on this one!).”

Will It Work?

Those who would challenge Flash face more challenges than just its ubiquity. From security to analytics to authoring tools and maturation of the technology – Flash is believed to have many advantages.

“The working subset of HTML5 is nowhere near the power of Flash,” Ray Valdes wrote in an in-depth blog post for Gartner in February.

“There are many advanced effects that are only available in Flash or Silverlight or Java. For example, Google, which is driving HTML5, relies on Flash in Google Maps (for the Streetview) and in Gmail (for the multiple-file upload capability). There are tens of thousands of Flash games on the Web (at game portals like Pogo or as game apps within Facebook or Myspace) that would be difficult to do (in a performant way) with HTML5.”

Can the Open Web Technology community of game developers pull it off? Game on!

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