The fourth largest game developer on Facebook, Wooga was chosen to be one of the first partners to develop a game using HTML5. Wooga announced today that it is real easing an open source version of one of its biggest titles, Magic Land, under a new name, Pocket Island, and this HTML5 version will enable users to play games on Facebook through either a browser or a mobile device.
Most of the casual and social games on Facebook are Flash-based, but it looks like Wooga is ready to dip its toes in the uncharted HTML5 waters and see where it leads them.
This announcement comes after the company said it was pulling a few of its games from the Google+ platform because they were not gaining the traction needed to continue the endeavor.
Wooga has also made the new Pocket Island game code available to the open source community to continue development work on HTML5.
Wooga has explained that it had encountered a few problems with the new technology, including long initial load times, lack of sound, and having a reliance on being connected to the Internet but has high hopes that the open source community will help this transition and provide a flourishing environment for the game users.
"Given the excitement around the technology, the buzz in the media, the buzz among engineers you’d bump into at conferences, it would have been absurd not to at least test the technology. So, we did”, said Philipp Moeser, Wooga’s co-founder and CTO, in a company blog.
So while the time to create and initially install HTML5 offerings is off-putting, Wooga and others are excited about the possibilities of creating a more robust gaming culture that can play games on and offline.
Currently platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google Android require developers to create unique code for each platform so that the app can communicate with the platform, and vice versa.
HTML5, on the other hand, is a universal language meaning that developers only have to create one codebase for a game.
Since Wooga is trying to lead the way, it will be interesting to see how its game fairs and who will be next to push down the HTML5 path, and possibly the open source HTML5 nonetheless.