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Zipline: "HTML5 games are hype"

Zipline CEO Todd Hooper questions the validity of HTML5 for mobile game developers

Zipline Games CEO Todd Hooper has questioned the validity of HTML5 for mobile game development.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Hooper claimed that the enthusiasm surrounding HTML5 is being created outside of the games industry, giving a false impression of its import to developers.

"A lot of people are talking about HTML5. There's a lot of hype around that, and my feel at this point is that's exactly what it is: hype," he said. "I mean, the HTML5 guys have a lot of conferences, but let's see some games.

"A lot of the HTML5 stuff comes out of a San Francisco, Web 2.0, internet company mind-set, and that hasn't got a lot to do with games. I don't see a lot of people who I would recognise as authorities in the space of games talking about HTML5; I see a lot of people that know a lot about apps."

The supposed struggle between HTML, Adobe Flash and Google's Native Client to become the dominant platform for presenting multimedia online content has been widely discussed, with influential companies like Apple and Facebook taking a stance on the issue.

Hooper is open about his admiration for the performance of Native Client - Zipline's Moai development platform supports the Native Client SDK - but he is equally suspicious of HTML5's utility in game development.

"Obviously different companies have pushed it because it suits their agendas," he said. "The reality is that most folks who are developing games are not HTML5 programmers. In fact, most game programmers don't want to use JavaScript."

"When I saw the new Facebook app on iPad and saw the HTML games, they would have been state-of-the-art three or four years ago, but they aren't state-of-the-art now."

"I'm sorry, but if you look at any of the games that are charting right now or have been charting for the last twelve months, I just don't see those games being delivered in HTML5. I keep hearing that they're coming, but everything I see behind the scenes and actually talking to real game developers one-on-one, including people that have used some of these technologies, the jury is still out."

To read the full interview with Hooper, click here.

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Latest comments (4)

Yes, it's true, there are currently very very few games on HTML5. Tech is very young and to make a good looking cross platform app requires A LOT OF effort. But, it's completely possible to create a decent social game. My team is working on tech for a social game, and the the app is already doing very good on all browser, iPad, iPhone and most of Android devices. I think 2012 will be the year when we finally will be able to judge about true potential of HTML5 games.
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James Redner president, The Redner Group5 years ago
I was at the IDGA Leadership forum last week and Jesse Janosov (CEO, Rivet Games) was speaking about evolution of social and mobile games. He also voiced concerns about HTML5. He said that it wasn't a complete solution. He also said that it (currently) isn't compatible with all browsers. I personally wonder if it every will be compatible with all browsers.
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Adam Rademacher Associate Producer, Pixofactor5 years ago
I'm curious about the supposed need for platforms like HTML5. We're sacrificing a lot to put it on the web browser, especially in mobile, when we could develop native clients. With a lot of engines moving towards cross-platform native clients anyways (UDK, Unity3d, and Flash are prime examples), HTML5 seems like too little too late for game development.
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Gregory Keenan5 years ago
Emerging tech is often slated until it proves itself.
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