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Flash vs HTML5 Games

Browser-based games (more commonly known as browser games) were once developed using Adobe Flash, a multimedia authoring and playback system that was widely installed on computers in the early 2000s. Hence, we call them, Flash games.

However, Flash is a resource-oriented software platform that relies heavily on its plug-in to run multimedia content. Nowadays, game developers have shifted towards HTML5 gamesas the modern format for browser gaming, due to several advantages HTML has over Flash technologies.

Let's take a look at why HTML5 is widely used in web game development and why Flash has fallen out of the browser game industry.

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HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript

HTML5 is a markup language used for creating, organizing and presenting content (web pages or applications) on the Internet. It is the fifth version of the markup standard, but it is not the programming language used to build games. HTML5 games are programmed in JavaScript

Together with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript, HTML5 forms a fundamental trio of technologies for web content development. HTML5 also provides application programming interfaces (APIs), such as Canvas, WebGL, WebAudio, etc., that enable browser games to be lightweight yet exceptionally attractive.

Additionally, Javascript offers a wide range of tools for efficient game development. For example, developers don't need to write tons of codes for animating objects. Many libraries for JavaScript, such as CreateJS, are able to do animation easily.

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Flash vs HTML5

The advantages of HTML5 in browser games are considered a huge upgrade for game developers. Here are key differences between Flash and HTML5 in web game development.

Convenience and compatibility with browsers and operating systems

The accessibility of HTML5 games is a strong argument against Flash games. With HTML5 games, players do not need to install or update plug-ins. They can play HTML5 games on various devices, web browsers, and operating systems.

Whereas, Flash requires the Flash Player plugin, along with its updates, to be installed separately on a web browser to display and run browser games.

Mobile Friendly

HTML5 is responsive to any mobile device. Its framework does not use containers that limit the size of the content. So if someone is viewing HTML5 content on mobile, the content being displayed will easily adjust to any screen size for optimal viewing. In short, HTML5 is mobile-ready.

Unfortunately for Flash, a single game must have a different version for every device to provide quality gaming performance. Otherwise, the game will treat a 5.5-inch phone screen as a standard size PC monitor.

Performance reliability

Players are often discouraged with Flash games due to frequent game crashes caused by their bulky plugin and updates. There’s also the problem of newer browsers lacking support for its plug-in that often restricts developers to publish Flash games.

On the other hand, HTML5 games will run at peak performance due to their compatibility with any browser, as well as any operating system. Its newer features offer stronger security and require less maintenance.

Power consumption

HTML5 games are some of the most lightweight games available on the market today. They require lower processing power compared to Flash games that are plug-in dependent.

Additionally, HTML5 games are not CPU intensive applications due to their storing capabilities. They load faster than Flash games. This means players have better game experience with HTML5.

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Hopefully, this article has been a comprehensive overview of HTML5 technology in browser games. If you're a brand or agency planning to license HTML5 games, check out our gaming solutions partner, MarketJS. They have a wide variety of HTML5 games that you can license for whatever purpose they may serve you.